Conservatives kick out one of their own MPs (UPDATED)

From the BBC:

The Conservatives say they have withdrawn the party whip from Castle Point MP Bob Spink.

Mr Spink earlier told MPs he had resigned over the party’s failure to deal with serious “criminal and other irregularities” in his constituency.

But the party says it withdrew the whip – excluding him from the Tory group at Westminster – because he had emailed the chief whip threatening to resign…

In a letter the Conservative Chief Whip, Patrick McLoughlin, told him: “As a matter of good party discipline I cannot have MPs making threats to resign the whip at a time of their own choosing, if the demands of the party are not met.

“I must therefore treat your resignation as taking immediate effect”.

The BBC understands that Mr Spink was facing a reselection meeting in his constituency next Tuesday.

According to sources he had refused to attend that meeting and had demanded support from the party nationally or he would resign. The chief whip then took the decision to remove the Whip from him.

Hat tip: Matt Davies

UPDATE: At least two Conservative MPs think it is likely he will now join UKIP.

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  • Splendid news for them actually. I should think even the Tory trolls realise what a see-yoo-enn-tee Bob Spink is. A Euroloon obsessive with an “interesting” list of assistants employed.

    What was this called again? “Detoxing the brand”?

  • Alix Mortimer 12th Mar '08 - 6:38pm

    Wow, a decent pre-emptive Tory whip policy? Between that and the introduction of PR we might just do for them yet.

  • An unusually generous headline, Mark. How can you sack someone who has already resigned?

  • David Morton 12th Mar '08 - 9:56pm

    If I were Nick or Ann Winterton I’d be worried. I suspect we will see more of this.

  • Shame it didn’t happen three years ago. Remember this is the guy who printed a newspaper advert during the 2005 general election campaign with the headline: “What bit of ‘send them back’ don’t you understand Mr Blair?”

    I don’t believe compulsory repatriation of ethnic minorities was in the 2005 Tory manifesto (or indeed even the BNPs)

  • Well, his views seem extreme these days but I guess that the Tories will say that they’re a broad church, there’s freedom of speech and he was a lone voice in the wilderness, etc.

    Lest we get too celebratory however, we should remember that some of our MPs too supported the Bill mentioned above which tried to permit ministers of religion (such nice folk) to indulge in ‘expressions of antipathy’ towards homosexuals … there was an earlier debate about it here following on – ironically, maybe – from the article ‘Paddick tops pink poll’.

    Still, I suppose that we’re a broad church, there’s freedom of speech, and they were lone voices in the wilderness, etc.

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