John Redwood has emailed all Tory MPs warning them not to ‘do a Pritchard‘ and sell out on the referendum. Guido has the text:
Be true to your electors! If you told them you were Eurosceptic, then vote to leave the EU in the referendum. Your supporters backed you because they want our democracy restored, with powers of self-government returned. They will feel very let down if you do not help them get the UK out of the EU at the referendum.
This referendum will be a defining moment for MPs. We will be judged for several Parliaments to come by what we do and how we vote. Some colleagues have implied that as it is the people’s choice their vote can be a private matter. This is unrealistic. If you claimed to be a Eurosceptic to get selected and elected you now have to vote to leave. It is important to listen to the members of our party who turned out to help you win your seat…
Your voters and your party members look to you now to lead them. They will watch carefully, and will expect to see you now do what your words at the selection conference and at the election implied you would. We cannot just be Eurosceptic for the election.
Guido suspects many Tory MPs told their local associations they were Eurosceptic Outers during their selection meetings, only to suddenly back the PM’s line now their future careers are at stake. Stay tuned for more on this in the coming days…
UPDATE: Europhile Nicholas Soames hits back:
I must say to be told how to vote in Referendum by J Redwood in an email to colleagues marks a new low in my life in the House #buggeroff
— Nicholas Soames (@nsoamesmp) February 15, 2016