Tory MP who led Brexit rebellion against Theresa May receives death threats

 In U.S.
The ex-cabinet minister behind the Conservative backbench push to reshape Theresa May’s Brexit plans has revealed he received a string of death threats since starting to question the Government’s approach to EU withdrawal.

Dominic Grieve told The Independent he had been left with no choice but to report several messages he had received to the police.

The senior Tory, who played a key role in the Commons vote lost by the Prime Minister on Wednesday, said all colleagues who spoke out on Brexit had suffered a “torrent” of abuse, including threats of physical violence.

It comes after a second Brexit-backing newspaper provocatively named on its front page Conservative MPs who disagreed with parts of the Prime Minister’s flagship EU Withdrawal Bill.

All 11 MPs named under the headline “Proud of yourselves?” in Thursday’s Daily Mail, also appeared in mid-November on the front of the Daily Telegraph, which branded them “mutineers”.

Former Attorney General Mr Grieve, among those named, said: “You only have to look at the vitriol, the death threats – I don’t do social media, but even so I’ve had to report certain things off to the police.

“It is a torrent – and it is all ‘you are stopping Brexit’.”

He went on: “Yes, I have had death threats. All my colleagues have had threats, mine were a voicemail message and a couple of emails.”

Mr Grieve brought forward the amendment that Conservative rebels and Labour MPs rallied around to inflict a wounding defeat on Ms May on Wednesday and had also been the author of other amendments which led the Government to willingly change other elements of her flagship Bill.

The Beaconsfield MP, like other Tories who defied the whip on Wednesday, made clear he had not wanted to vote against his own party and had undergone weeks of negotiations to try and come to a compromise with ministers. But in the end he said the change which they forced on the Government was necessary to prevent a “gross abuse of executive power”. 

He explained: “The vitriol is a symptom of the real problem, because everything is seen in the binary terms of either pushing Brexit or sabotaging it, stopping it.

“I and the other participants, whatever our views on the undesirability of Brexit are not trying to do that.

“We are trying to ensure that the Brexit which takes place is carried out in an orderly way.”

Tory rebellion leads to defeat of Government over Brexit amendment

Ex-Education Secretary Nicky Morgan also confirmed she had to refer one message to Parliament’s security authorities and added that she had received hundreds of emails.

Asked about the threats against Mr Grieve, a senior Government official said: “Of course no politician should face intimidation or threats, full stop.

“The Prime Minister commissioned the Committee on Standards in Public Life to report on harassment faced by MPs and candidates in recent months.”

Stephen Hammond was also among those who rebelled against the Government on Wednesday, the first time he has done so in his parliamentary career and appeared on this morning’s Mail front page.

Tory MP Stephen Hammond defies whip to give Parliament meaningful say on Brexit

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