Opposition parties react to Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd’s resignation

Labour's Peter Chowney and Liberal Democrat Nick Perry have welcomed Ms Rudd's resignation. They called for her to resign last week
Labour's Peter Chowney and Liberal Democrat Nick Perry have welcomed Ms Rudd's resignation. They called for her to resign last week

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have welcomed Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd’s decision to resign from the cabinet and the Conservative party.

Ms Rudd announced her resignation from the Government on her Twitter page on Saturday evening (September 7).

In her letter to the Prime Minister, she said she cannot ‘stand by as good, loyal moderate Conservatives are expelled’.

She also said she made her decision due to the lack of progress made with Brexit negotiations since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Hastings and Rye Nick Perry and Labour’s Peter Chowney – who both signed a letter calling on Ms Rudd to resign earlier on Saturday – welcomed the Hastings and Rye MP’s decision.

Mr Perry said: “Amber Rudd’s resignation provides further evidence that Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party is now a Trojan horse for the Brexit Party.

“With the Conservatives and Labour in the hands of political hardliners, the Liberal Democrats will continue to welcome voters who want an open, tolerant and socially progressive party, committed to economic competence and stopping Brexit altogether.”

Labour said Ms Rudd’s main reason for resigning – the lack of preparation in securing a deal with the European Union – echoes Jeremy Corbyn’s view.

Peter Chowney, Labour parliamentary candidate for Hastings and Rye, said: “I’m pleased that Amber Rudd has realised what many of us knew already: that the Tories are in utter disarray, and that Boris Johnson is not fit to be an MP, let alone Prime Minister.

“She once said that Boris Johnson was the life and soul of the party, but you wouldn’t want him to give you a lift home. Now she’s firmly slammed the door on him and decided to walk away, avoiding the car crash this government has turned into.

“I look forward to other prominent Conservatives, both nationally and locally, taking the same honourable route.”

Ms Rudd’s resignation came after a protest outside her surgery in Hastings and a letter was signed by opposition members, calling on her to resign.

The letter was signed by Labour’s Peter Chowney, the Liberal Democrats’ Nick Perry and the Green Party’s Chris Whitrow, who signed the letter on behalf of Julia Hilton. The letter was signed outside St Mary in the Castle at noon on Saturday (September 7).

It challenged Ms Rudd over her stance on Brexit and why she supported the suspension of Parliament by PM Boris Johnson.

By Saturday evening, Ms Rudd had announced her resignation.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, which she also tweeted, Ms Rudd said: “It is with great sadness that I am resigning as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Minister for Women and Equalities.”

“This has been a difficult decision. I joined your Cabinet in good faith: accepting that No Deal had to be on the table, because it was the means by which we would have the best chance of achieving a new deal to leave on 31 October.

“However, I no longer believe leaving with a deal is the government’s main objective.

“The government is expending a lot of energy to prepare for No Deal but I have not seen the same level of intensity go into our talks with the European Union who have asked us to present alternative arrangements to the Irish backstop.

“The updates I have been grateful to receive from your office have not, regretfully, provided me with the reassurances I sought.

“I must also address the assault on decency and democracy that took place last week when you sacked 21 talented, loyal One Nation Conservatives.

“This short sighted culling of my colleagues has stripped the Party of broad-minded and dedicated Conservative MPs. I cannot support this act of political vandalism.”

She finished the letter off by saying she remained ‘a proud Conservative’ and that she would continue to support her constituents of Hastings and Rye.

Related stories:

Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd quits cabinet and Conservative Party

Letter calling on Hastings MP Amber Rudd to resign from cabinet signed by opposition members

Protesters march in Hastings over Boris Johnson’s plan to suspend Parliament