Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns quits as ministerial aide to 'fight for Brexit'
Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns has dramatically quit as a ministerial bag-carrier so she has more time to "fight for Brexit".
In a clear warning to Theresa May, Ms Jenkyns cautioned the Government against striking a “half-in, half out” deal with Brussels as she announced was stepping down from the unpaid Parliamentary Private Secretary position in the Ministry of Housing.
Ms Jenkyns said it had been an “honour” to work on housing policy and the Northern Powerhouse initiative, but said the “difficult decision” was necessary to give her the “time and freedom” to support Brexit from the backbenches.
The Morley and Outwood MP - who ousted Labour frontbencher Ed Balls in the 2015 election - said she would be focussing on her work on the Exiting the European Union Committee, which she accused of producing reports that were “unbalanced in favour of us either remaining in the EU, the customs union or delaying our departure".
The arch-Brexiteer highlighted that the Committee’s membership is made up of 21 MPs, of which only seven were Leave backers, and said she would now be spending her time working to “correct this imbalance and be a robust voice for the benefits of Brexit.”
In a statement released on her website, Ms Jenkyns said: “Brexit means a huge amount to me personally. I ran my 2015 general election campaign promising to vote for a referendum on our relationship with the EU.
“In the 2017 general election, I was the only local candidate who voted and supported Brexit and my constituents decided to return me as their local MP. I owe my constituents and the 17.4 million people who decided to leave the EU that their voices are heard in committee and in parliament. “
Ms Jenkyns said Theresa May had her “full support" in "delivering the Brexit that she promised the British people". But in a warning to the Prime Minister, the outgoing PSS said any deal with the EU must include an exit from the customs union and could not leave the UK “half-in, half out”.
She added: “We as MPs decided to give the people a say on our relationship with the EU, we trusted them with a referendum, so we must deliver on this promise. It is our duty as representatives of the people and our responsibility as legislators to bring about Brexit and not upset the process.”
Fellow Conservative backbencher Huw Merriman tweeted his support for the decision.
“Admire Andrea Jenkyns for deciding that her role on Brexit Select Committee must command her sole focus. Share her Brexit aims so wishing her well.”