Christopher Beazley, former Conservative MEP for two decades, defects to Liberal Democrats and calls for a People’s Vote on Brexit

Christopher Beazley is welcomed into the party by Jonathan Brown

Christopher Beazley, Chichester/West Sussex resident and former Member of the European Parliament for the East of England 1999-2009 and for Cornwall and Plymouth 1984-1994, is resigning from the Conservative Party to join the Liberal Democrats.

Christopher says:

As a lifelong, traditional, one-nation, pro-European Conservative I can no longer sit idly by while my former party plunges the country into disaster.

Successive Tory Party leaders have failed to confront the nationalist, lunatic right-wing fringe. As my daughter put it: “David Cameron gambled with our future and lost!”

I salute the Liberal Democrats’ consistent effort and advocacy for Britain’s EU membership and for the urgent necessity of a people’s vote to decide our future – and most importantly for the future generations who have, as yet, never been consulted.

Christopher has served as a spokesman on Constitutional Affairs, Home Affairs and Justice as well as Culture and Education and for Regional Development.

Jonathan Brown, Parliamentary Spokesman for the Chichester Liberal Democrats, said he was delighted to welcome Christopher Beazley, and added:

Our country cannot continue on its present course. There is a political realignment underway. The Lib Dems are a broad church and welcome all prepared to fight for opportunity and prosperity for us and future generations.

This government treats Parliament and the public with contempt. It wastes millions of taxpayer pounds on contracts for ferry companies with no ships as it diverts billions into pointless preparations for a no-deal Brexit that would devastate our economy and society. The Prime Minister is trying to blackmail MPs of all parties into supporting the insupportable.

We welcome Christopher’s expertise, experience and enthusiasm. We must deal with the inequality and the taking of people for granted that fuels discontent and despair. We must stop the chaos in government and focus on fixing Britain. We must have a People’s Vote to give the country the opportunity to reject the shambolic, incompetent divisiveness of this government’s Brexit fantasies, to remain in the European Union and to move on. We demand better.

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  • Karen Johnson 8th Jan '19 - 5:18pm

    Good to meet you

  • OnceALibDem 8th Jan '19 - 10:39pm

    “As a lifelong, traditional, one-nation, pro-European Conservative…”

    Which are honourable positions. They do not make you a Liberal though. Indeed I’d say one-nation toryism is rather incompatible with Liberalism it being quite paternalistic rather than puting the rights of everyone as the fundamental starting point.

  • Jonathan Brown 9th Jan '19 - 10:11am


    You have a point, but it’s not the full picture.

    I am sure that if you examined every view or position that Christopher holds, you will find many that sit uncomfortably alongside ‘mainstream’ Lib Dem views – however you define them.

    I am equally sure that the same is true for a huge proportion of our members. We are a party of individuals, each of which sees some issues and principles as being more important than others.

    Our aim should be to lead opinion and ultimately to lead the country. That must begin by building upon such common ground that exists with new and potential members and supporters.

    We can be a pure and niche party or a slightly rougher and readier broader church, as I said in my statement quoted above. I welcome Christopher as I welcome the prospect of us being a party confident, large and powerful enough to put our principles at the heart of power in this country.

  • Neil Sandison 11th Jan '19 - 1:31pm

    Welcome .It takes more courage to move on in life than mutter in the background and live a lie that your old party still reflects your personal values .Dont be trolled by Once a lib dem ,i am sure you as a supporter of liberty , freedom and equality oppertunity will find our brand of politics refreshingly open and evidence based.

  • I think Christopher Beazley was actually MEP for Cornwall, not Cornwall and Plymouth, West (the boundaries were redrawn for the 1994 election, at which our own Robin Teverson was elected).

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