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Conservative MP Nick Boles says he isn’t ‘ready to give up’ on party

Nick Boles on the Andrew Marr Show

Tory MP Nick Boles, who quit his local party on Saturday over his stance on Brexit, says his priority lies with his constituents and he will not be “bossed around by a small number of people”.

He told the Andrew Marr Show he thought about standing as an independent MP.

But he said he had decided to remain as he was not “ready to give up on the Conservative Party yet”.

Mr Boles, MP for Grantham and Stamford, has been an outspoken critic of leaving the EU with no deal.

The MP – who is in favour of a closer Norway-style relationship with Europe – said he was “proud” of his role in the cross-party campaign to force the prime minister to request an extension to Article 50 beyond 29 March, and to block a no-deal Brexit.

But Councillor Martin Hill, vice president of the Grantham and Stamford Conservative Association, told members they had been “betrayed by their parliamentary representative”, calling on him to take the “honourable course” and quit as an MP.

‘In the best interest’

Mr Boles said a “certain amount of pressure was applied” by the local party after he was asked to tell them if he intended to stand as their representative at the next general election.

But he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr: “I represent 100,000 people in Parliament. I have roughly 500 members in my local association and roughly 60 people on my executive.

“I’m afraid I’m going to claim the right to interpret what is in the best interest of the 100,000 people I represent and I’m not going to be bossed around by a very small number of people with very ideological views.”

Despite leaving the local association, whose members he wrote to this weekend, Mr Boles said he remains loyal to the party.

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