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Updated: Guildford MP Reiterates Her Support for Sunak as Next PM

Published on: 20 Oct, 2022
Updated on: 20 Oct, 2022

By Martin Giles

2.55pm

Angela Richardson has told The Guildford Dragon NEWS that she applauds Liz Truss’s decision to resign and continues to support Rishi Sunak to take over as prime minister.

The Guildford MP said: “Today, Liz Truss has announced her decision to resign as Prime Minister and as leader of the Conservative Party. I applaud her for making this decision quickly and not seeking to hang on to power.

“The people of Guildford and the rest of the country want stability, a quick and decisive plan to bring the economy back under control, reduce inflation and tackle the rise in the cost of living. It was clear that she could not deliver such a plan.

“There are various people who would make a good successor to Liz Truss but having spent the summer supporting Rishi Sunak’s leadership bid, my views on his suitability have not changed. If anything, the past six weeks have brought them even more sharply into focus.”

2.10pm

Where does the resignation of Prime Minister Liz Truss leave Angela Richardson, Guidford’s Conservative MP?

Ms Richardson, who supported Rishi Sunak in the Conservative leadership election in the summer, was one of the first to publicly call for Liz Truss to resign.

Her abstention in last night’s vote on fracking, a vote deemed to be a vote of confidence in the government, would normally result in her having the Tory whip withdrawn but following Liz Truss’ resignation it seems unlikely that a penalty will be imposed while her party is desperate to find some unity.

Ms Richardson’s previously preferred candidate, Mr Sunak, is now the favourite to win a truncated leadership election, as suggested by Ms Richardson. Whether her loyalty to Sunak will be recognised with a government post remains to be seen.

Opposition parties locally and nationally will be baying for a general election claiming a third prime minister to be appointed since the last election, in November 2019, would have no popular mandate.

12.43pm

The government confirmed at 1.33am this morning, by a WhatsApp message to journalists, that the vote on a Labour party amendment yesterday was a vote of confidence in the government.

This leaves Angela Richardson, MP for Guildford, waiting to hear from the Conservative party whips what sanction she will receive for her abstention.

36 Tory MPs are reported to have abstained including the prime minister who is believed to have “missed” the vote but some who did not vote and therefore recorded as having “abstained” are likely to have been away from Westminster.

But the large number makes it more difficult for the whips as suspending them all would significantly affect the government’s majority and ongoing meetings at No. 10 make only continue the uncertainty.  If the PM resigns will any disciplining of abstainers be carried out?

The Labour amendment would have guaranteed time in Parliament for a bill to ban fracking across the country.

Zoe Franklin

Zoe Franklin, the nominated Liberal Democrat candidate for the next general election, said: “Every single Conservative MP, including Angela Richardson, stood on a manifesto promise in 2019 to ban fracking.

“In Parliament last night, they had a simple choice. Either to prop up Liz Truss and her shambolic leadership and enable yet another disastrous decision. Or to stand up and do the right thing for their constituents and act in the best interests of the British people. Once again, they let us down. 

“With this motion defeated we are one step closer to the destruction of Surrey’s beautiful green fields and countryside, which could soon be scarred by filthy fracking wells.”

The British Geological Society recently refused to endorse fracking as safe in its report for the government.

October 19

Guildford’s MP Angela Richardson abstained this evening (October 19) in a vote on controversial fracking plans which had been declared a “confidence motion in the government”.

Beleaguered Prime Minister Liz Truss ordered backbenchers to support the contentious policy, even though many have openly expressed their opposition to it.

Chaotic scenes around the voting lobbies were reported by MPs with complaints of manhandling and bullying. There was also confusion about the status of the government’s chief whip and deputy chief whip which at one stage were said to have resigned but later were said to remain in post.

Angela Richardson has been invited to comment.

Pre-vote report

No 10’s hardline approach will be seen as a major gamble, raising the stakes with a rank and file already in a mutinous state over her leadership but it will also force a difficult decision on Ms Richardson who has openly called for the prime minister to resign and has also expressed “grave concerns” over fracking, some of which could take place within the Guildford constituency.

Labour has tabled an opposition day debate motion that would guarantee House of Commons time to debate a new law to ban fracking once and for all.

Craig Whittaker, the deputy chief whip, told all Tory backbenchers that they must vote against the plan or risk being suspended by the party. Ms Richardson faced down a similar threat in November 2021 when she was sacked as a PPS having abstained in a vote on a government-backed amendment to overhaul the Commons’ disciplinary process in response to the proposed suspension of MP Owen Paterson. But she was reinstated to her PPS role within hours.

The deputy chief whip has written to Conservative members: “This is not a motion on fracking. This is a confidence motion in the government,” he warned them ahead of the ballot on Wednesday night.

“We cannot, under any circumstances, let the Labour Party take control of the order paper and put through their own legislation and whatever other bits of legislation they desire.”

But nine members of her Cabinet – including Jeremy Hunt (SW Surrey), the new Chancellor and Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary – have previously opposed drilling.

It is said that any developments would go ahead only with the support of “50 per cent plus one” of local people but exactly how support would be accurately measured is uncertain.

It has even been reported that Conservative rebels, who are thought to number around 35, have been plotting with Labour to stop the proposal to allow fracking.

Ms Richardson told The Dragon earlier today: “First and foremost, my priority is and always will be to deliver positive outcomes for constituents across Guildford, Cranleigh and our villages, whether they voted for me or for another candidate, and I will continue to work to achieve this.”

 

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test 4 Responses to Updated: Guildford MP Reiterates Her Support for Sunak as Next PM

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    October 19, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    Deja vu?

  2. M Durant Reply

    October 20, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    They can’t discipline her or other Tories that abstained because Liz Truss abstained as well, it’s a farcical situation.
    Well done to MP Angela Richardson for abstaining. If they start fracking in Surrey I am moving out.

    The Tories said they won’t be fracking in their manifesto in 2019.

    By the way, last Friday I was walking across the river both in Guildford and Godalming and I was overpowered by a dreadful smell of possibly untreated sewage? I had to stop my walk it was so bad.

  3. John Redpath Reply

    October 20, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    So, she’s finally gone.

    It continues to baffle me why local politicians feel the need to affiliate themselves with National Political Parties.

    John Redpath is a R4GV borough councillor for Holy Trinity.

  4. Stuart Barnes Reply

    October 21, 2022 at 8:31 am

    Are we ready for the return of Boris?

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