Tory MP Nick Boles leaves cancer treatment to vote on Article 50

Posted On: 
7th February 2017

A Conservative MP has left hospital during treatment for cancer to support the Government in votes on Article 50. 

Nick Boles tweeted this picture of himself in hospital
Credit: 
PA

Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles announced last autumn that doctors had discovered a cancerous tumour in his head.

His tweet today was the first since October, when he announced he was giving up Twitter while he undergoes treatment.

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Mr Boles was a close ally of David Cameron and supported the Remain side in the referendum, but has made clear his determination to vote through the Government’s bill to trigger Brexit.

MPs are currently in the second of three days’ debating amendments on the legislation, with third reading due tomorrow.

In a post on his Facebook page, Mr Boles wrote: "I feel pretty grim and will have to go back to hospital after I have voted. But I want to come to Parliament to represent my constituents on this important bill and do my bit to ensure that it is passed without amendment. 

"I believe it is in everyone's interests that the PM is given the mandate to start negotiating Brexit and the formation of a new relationship with our friends in Europe without delay."

THREE-LINE WHIP

Meanwhile, pressure is growing on Diane Abbott - who missed last week's Article 50 vote after suffering a migraine - to say whether she will vote for the bill at third reading tomorrow night.

A meeting of the Shadow Cabinet agreed this morning that Labour MPs should support the Government. Ms Abbott's constituency voted heavily against Brexit, and she has been accused of deliberately missing the vote so she would not have to resign as Shadow Home Secretary.

PoliticsHome has learned that 20 Labour frontbenchers took part in a debate on the party's voting strategy, but Ms Abbott remained silent.

Shadow Business Secretary Clive Lewis has also said he will resign rather than vote for the Article 50 bill.

Some 47 - 13 of them on the frontbench - defied the party whip last week by voting against the bill. Shadow Cabinet members Jo Stevens, Dawn Butler and Rachael Maskell had earlier quit their positions in protest at Mr Corbyn's stance, as had hunior shadow minister Tulip Siddiq.

One senior Labour MP said: "Diane and Clive have to resign. At least Tulip did the honourable thing. A whip or frontbencher that votes against a three-line whip has neither courage, credibility or any principle."