Local Tories in Hornchurch and Upminster have expressed dismay that their MP Angela Watkinson, who spent decades campaigning against the EU, is backing Remain. Watkinson caused considerable anger when she emailed her local association members explaining her volte-face:
“As a lifelong Eurosceptic, I have surprised myself by concluding that we can influence our future better from within.”
This is the same Angela Watkinson who in 2001 was one of three MPs forced to leave the ultra-Eurosceptic Monday Club. She caused a major Tory row in 2002 when she put her name to a strongly Eurosceptic pamphlet condemning the EU and calling for the abolition of the European Parliament. Such was her hardline opposition to the EU that she was even touted as a potential defector to UKIP…
Her constituency is in Havering, which according to YouGov research is the most eurosceptic place in Britain, it has the first council in Britain to vote to leave the EU, so you can imagine how her change of mind has gone down locally. Angela is already a Dame, will she land a peerage next?