Gainsborough MP votes for PM's Brexit deal

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After days of debate MPs rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal by 432 votes to 202 on January 15.

Sir Edward Leigh, Gainsborough's MP, voted with the conservative party in favour of the withdrawal deal, calling Brexit a 'priority'

The veteran MP has previously stated he could not support the withdrawal agreement reached between the Prime Ministers and EU officials.

There have been accusations that Sir Edward had been 'bought-off' after being appointed a privy counsellor over the New Year period.

However, Sir Edward said he was nominated for the position, which will allow him to be part of top-level State briefings, more than a year ago, and was not connected with his decision to support the PM.

“I assure there has been absolutely no discussion with the government about me voting for them or not voting for them in connection with me being made a privy counsellor,” he told BBC Radio 4’s World At One on Monday, January 14.

He added: “Implementing Brexit is the most important priority at the moment.

"Despite its many flaws, Mrs May’s deal would have allowed us to get out on March 29th which is why I voted for it.

"While I believe leaving without a deal would bring many benefits, the numbers in Parliament simply aren’t behind it.

"The priority now must be to secure a better plan that will command a majority in Parliament and reassure the country, particularly on the Northern Irish backstop and taking back control of our borders.”

Sir Edward stated that he changed his mind as he no longer believes there is a choice between Mrs May’s 'admittedly inadequate' deal and no deal.