Howarth’s House plea to Cameron

Alder­shot MP urges PM not to re­sign de­spite Brexit vote

Star Courier (Surrey & Hants) - - FRONT PAGE - By Joshua Smith

ALDER­SHOT MP Sir Ger­ald Howarth has asked David Cameron to re­con­sider his de­ci­sion to re­sign as Prime Min­is­ter in the wake of the EU ref­er­en­dum re­sult.

The in/ out ref­er­en­dum was held on Thurs­day June 23, with 51.9% vot­ing for Great Bri­tain to leave the EU to 48.1% who wanted to re­main a part of the union.

The ma­jor­ity of the Star Courier area backed leav­ing the EU, with 58% of vot­ers in Rush­moor opt­ing to leave, com­pared to 42% who wanted to re­main. In Brack­nell For­est 54% wanted to leave and 46% wanted to re­main and in Sur­rey Heath 51% wanted to leave and 49% wanted to re­main.

In Hart 52% of vot­ers wanted to re­main, with 48% vot­ing to leave.

Sir Ger­ald was a pas­sion­ate sup­porter of the ‘ leave’ cam­paign, but that did not stop him ask­ing the Prime Min­is­ter, who cam­paigned for the coun­try to re­main in the EU, to stay on as leader dur­ing the ‘ Out­come of the EU Ref­er­en­dum’ de­bate held on Mon­day ( June 27).

Mr Cameron drew cheers from fel­low party mem­bers dur­ing the de­bate af­ter jok­ing that new Labour MP for Toot­ing Rosena AllinKhan should keep her mo­bile phone on as ‘ she might be in the shadow cabi­net by the end of the day’ – fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion of 19 of its mem­bers.

Dur­ing the de­bate, Sir Ger­ald said the Prime Min­is­ter had been a ‘ star of the Des­patch Box’ dur­ing his time in Par­lia­ment, and paid trib­ute to him for ‘ giv­ing the Bri­tish peo­ple the chance to take this his­toric de­ci­sion.’

Sir Ger­ald said: “May I also pay trib­ute to my right hon. Friend for giv­ing the Bri­tish peo­ple the chance to take this his­toric de­ci­sion? I share his view that Bri­tain will con­tinue to be en­gaged with the rest of the world — I hope in a more pos­i­tive fash­ion.

“May I also ex­press the view that I am very dis­ap­pointed that my right hon. Friend has de­cided to stand down? I won­der whether, at this dif­fi­cult time, he might like to re­con­sider that de­ci­sion.

“I say so be­cause he is a star at the Dis­patch Box and, fur­ther­more, as he has demon­strated to­day, he will rather miss it if he is not here to do it.”

In re­sponse, David Cameron said: “I am sure there are many things that I will miss, and state­ments that go on for at least three hours are per­haps one of them. What on earth will I do to fill my time?

“The rea­son for my de­ci­sion to re­sign is that the coun­try has made a very clear de­ci­sion to go in a par­tic­u­lar di­rec­tion, and I re­ally do be­lieve it needs some­one - fresh lead­er­ship, and a fresh pair of eyes - com­mit­ted to that path and to get­ting it right for Bri­tain.

“I think that does re­quire change. That is why I made the de­ci­sion I did, and I am cer­tainly not chang­ing my mind.”

Nom­i­na­tions for the Con­ser­va­tive lead­er­ship close at mid­day to­day ( Thurs­day June 30), with South West Sur­rey MP Jeremy Hunt say­ing he was ‘ se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing’ run­ning.

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