Minister of State for International Trade Greg Hands has announced his resignation from the government in order to be able to vote against Theresa May’s whip in Monday’s vote on the expansion of Heathrow Airport.
Hands, whose constituency will be affected, resigned with flowery words for his boss but pointing out that he campaigned in last year’s General Election by promising to resist the expansion.
Hands had to delete a tweet last year after making a racism smear against Labour’s excellent Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad.
The resignation stems from another May blunder. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had offered to make Monday’s vote a free one, allowing front-benchers from either side to vote as they see fit without resigning. May rejected the offer – and it has cost her another minister.
“Will rebel for NIMBY”
After the abject failure of Tory ‘rebels’ to do any rebelling in yesterday’s ‘meaningful vote’ Brexit amendment debate, when they gratefully accepted a meaningless ‘concession’ and voted with the government, it’s reassuring to know that Tories will actually rebel when it comes to NIMBYism, whatever your views on the need or otherwise for a London airport to get bigger.
Even with the Tories, there are some things you can rely on – and Hands’ resignation helps maintain a streak for the government in which May has lost or had to sack a minister every six weeks or so on average since last June’s general election.
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