The resignation of Dr Phillip Lee has been described as a major blow for the Government, while the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg said that “He is categorically not the only Tory MP among the younger ranks who is upset and irritated by how the government is handling Brexit”.
She added that she had been told by a source that the October Conservative party conference “would be the ‘biggest beauty parade ever’, with it becoming increasingly clear in their view, that the day of Brexit will be the moment when pressure on Theresa May will become untenable.”
Dr Lee’s voice adds one more to the band of potential rebels against the government that could defeat them in Parliament. More than that, his decision might give other ministers in the middle ranks the courage to speak out too.
- Laura Kuenssberg, BBC News
And Metro’s report of Dr Lee’s resignation is headlined “Theresa May suffers major blow as justice minister Dr Phillip Lee quits over Brexit”.
The Liberal Democrats press office is warning that Dr Lee’s resignation is a sign of things to come.
“The Tories are stumbling towards a disastrous Brexit that will damage our economy and Britain’s place in the world,” they warn.
.@thomasbrake: "Dr Phillip Lee has done the right thing by his constituents and the country. Where he leads, other Ministers should follow. For Theresa May, this is a warning of things to come." pic.twitter.com/XuLd0SYwRE
— Lib Dem Press Office (@LibDemPress) June 12, 2018
Well done Dr Phillip Lee. A Tory with the power of their convictions, I didn't think there were any left. A dying breed!
— NO BREXIT#FBPE#REMAINIAC# (@RemoanerH) June 12, 2018
I am reminded by the resignation of Dr Phillip Lee what the duty of an MP is
Country, Constituency then Party I think I've got it in the right order
I have a great deal of respect for you and I know over the next few days you will do what you think is right.
— James Chespy FRSA (@frederickchespy) June 12, 2018
Kudos to Phillip Lee. He chose country over party. Unlike the rest of the cabinet.
— Dr. Christian DeFeo (@doctorcdf) June 12, 2018
Wow! At last someone with the guts to make a stand for democracy and the future of our country, of our children. My sincere thanks – and respect – to Dr Phillip Lee.
— goodbyeeurope #FBPE (@goodbyeeurope27) June 12, 2018
Not everyone agrees with Dr Lee’s decision. One person said that his constituents would not be pleased:
Dr Phillip Lee seems not to fancy this politics lark his constituents voted to leave and he's resigned in effect to try and thwart brexit. Can't see the people of Bracknell being pleased
— a guy named chris (@chrisjlatimer) June 12, 2018
Dr Phillip Lee MP should be deselected ASAP.
— The Truth (@abcde12) June 12, 2018
Dr Phillip Lee needs to resign completely he is ignoring the will of his constituents. Therefore there is no place in Parliament for him.
— 💜💙 Vicky Moriarty 💜💙💂♂️💂♂️💂♂️💂♂️ (@vicky_moriarty) June 12, 2018
Jacob Rees-Mog, he'll sort it. Bet he can look his children in the eye, just like i can mine. Life goes on Dr Phillip Lee MP. The british people voted to leave. Wht cant you just get on with Brexit.
— Mandy & Rob Duo for all occasions (@robert120162) June 12, 2018
And it’s possible that Dr Lee’s stance could cause a by-election.
One commentator suggested that Dr Lee will be called to his constituency next week, but the local Conservative office was not picking up the phone when we tried calling – so this remains unconfirmed at this time.
BREAKING Phillip Lee, the Justice minister who quit the Government over Theresa May’s Brexit policy, could be deselected by his local party in Bracknell. Dr Lee is set to be called to explain his decision to resign to his local party in Bracknell a week on Monday.
— 🇺🇸🇬🇧James👨💻🎤⭐ (@JamessReality) June 12, 2018