Conservative councillor quits Conservative party over Boris Johnson - but backtracks just 90 minutes later
A CONSERVATIVE councillor announced he was set to quit the Tory party over Boris Johnson becoming prime minister - but backtracked just 90 minutes later.
Councillor Peter Davies, who has switched parties between Liberal Democrat, SDP and Labour over 33 years in local government, announced he would resign from the Conservative Party to sit as an Independent councillor.
He informed Fareham Borough Council’s Tory leader Sean Woodward, the chief executive Peter Grimwood and The News at 8.16am, before withdrawing his resignation at 9.45am.
In his resignation statement Cllr Davies said the party’s ‘move to the right,’ with Mr Johnson’s cabinet not reflecting ‘One Nation Conservative’ values had led to his decision.
He added: ‘I am totally opposed to a “no deal” Brexit.’
But speaking to The News, the councillor for Fareham North West said the new prime minister ‘would be a very progressive PM,’ who had ‘exhibited… One Nation Conservative values’ as mayor of London.
He said: ‘I am criticising him for trying not to get a deal.
‘The EU say they would not shift, but Johnson thinks they will shift.
‘I think aside from Brexit, he is a lot nearer to me than the other candidates.’
Fareham North West has been represented by Cllr Davies for more than 33 years, serving as a Labour party councillor for ‘a couple of years,’ as a Liberal Democrat for 20 years, and as a Conservative for nine years.
Cllr Woodward said his colleague will remain a Conservative councillor despite ‘seriously considering’ leaving..
He said: ‘He has decided he will give Boris Johnson 100 days - we are only hours into his government.’
Cllr Woodward added the former economics and politics lecturer was ‘very concerned about Brexit’.
He said: ‘I know there are people with a range of views.
‘It’s a very personal matter, but we voted to get out, so we must get out.
‘If that’s without a deal - provided proper support is in place for industry - I will be happy.
‘But hopefully we will leave with a deal.’
Cllr Davies had said he was ‘distressed’ by the decision to sack Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt as defence secretary.
He said: ‘I’m still a bit miffed about that.’