Scots Tory Paul Masterton resigns government post as Mundell clings on

Scottish Tory MP Paul Masterton has resigned his role as a junior aide in the Home Office.

His resignation comes after he defied the governments whip and voted to rule out a no deal Brexit under any circumstances.

He joined 17 other Tory MPs in voting for the amended motion, which aimed to rule out a no deal Brexit in any circumstance, which Theresa May ordered MPs to vote against after originally promising a free vote.

The move was welcomed by Shadow Scottish Secretary Lesley Laird as well as the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Under the principle of collective responsibility, all members of government are expected to vote with the Prime Minister or resign from government if their conscience cannot allow them to do so.

Despite this, David Mundell defied his own government's instructions on Wednesday when he abstained on the motion to rule out a no deal Brexit, later ruling out stepping down as Scottish Secretary.

Lesley Laird, Mundell's opposite number, said Masterton had done the "honourable" thing and called on Mundell to do the same.

"Paul Masterton has done the honourable thing in resigning. David Mundell on the other hand has consistently undermined the devolution settlement by his inaction.

"He must go," she said in a statement.

Defending his actions, David Mundell said on Twitter after the vote: "I’ve always opposed a no-deal Brexit. The House made its view clear by agreeing the Spelman amendment, I didn’t think it was right for me to oppose that.

"The PM has my full support in her objective of leaving the EU with a deal to deliver an orderly Brexit."

 

Image: Number 10

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