WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

Tory Field’s Brexit blast as he quits as MP

Cities of London and Westminster politician cites ‘deeply divisive aftermath’ of EU referendum

25 October, 2019 — By Tom Foot

Mark Field: ‘It is increasingly clear that divisions over Brexit and our future relationship with the EU 27 will dominate and define domestic politics for many years to come’

MARK Field blasted the “fractious, febrile and deeply divisive aftermath” of the EU referendum as he quit as MP, 20 years after he was selected as the Conservative candidate for Cities of London and Westminster.

The former Asia and the Pacific minister said his “moderate and consensual” approach to politics had been “tested to des­truction in the fractious, febrile and deeply divisive aftermath” of the Brexit debate.

He said: “It is increasingly clear that divisions over Brexit and our future relationship with the EU 27 will dominate and define domestic politics for many years to come.”

He added his “beliefs stand at odds with the current administration’s imp­atient approach to getting Brexit done”.

Mr Field faced criticism earlier this year after frogmarching a protester out of a black-tie dinner

Mr Field said he been under “great distress and anxiety in recent weeks” mulling over the decision that comes three months after he was suspended for frogmarching a Greenpeace protester out of a black tie event.

In a message to party members, he added: “On leaving parliament I relish the opportunity to contribute actively to the vital national mission of ensuring that for the sake of future generations the vision of a confident, bold global Britain becomes an economic and diplomatic reality.”

Oxford-educated Mr Field, born in Germany, was a major in the British Army before becoming a corporate lawyer. He was a councillor in Kensington & Chelsea before becoming an MP in 2002.

Labour MP for Westminster North, Karen Buck, who was first elected in 1997, told the Extra: “When two MPs share a role representing a local area, a town or, in this case, Westminster Council, tensions are common, especially when you come from opposing political parties.

Council leader Nickie Aiken is being touted as a successor to Mr Field

“In the many years Mark and I have been local MPs this was rarely ever the case, even when the boundaries shifted so his constituency lost two wards to mine.

“Of course, we disagreed vehemently on policies but we also co-operated and often worked jointly on local issues and that is, I believe, the right way to go about it.”

A statement from the Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association said its parliamentary selection committee had been saddened by Mr Field’s decision as it had recently voted in support of his candidacy, adding: “While we reluctantly accept Mark’s decision, we respect his reasons for doing so. His integrity and loyalty have been a hallmark throughout his time as our MP.”

Council leader Nickie Aiken is being touted as a successor to Mr Field but did not respond when asked if she was would stand for selection.

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