GREG Clark has defended his decision to vote with the Government on triggering Article 50 last week following criticism from members of the local Liberal Democrats who accused him of a ‘betrayal’ of his constituents.
Cllr Ben Chapelard, said the Conservative MP was more concerned with ‘protecting his own job’ as a cabinet minister than representing the majority of people in Tunbridge Wells who voted to remain in the EU on June 23.
The Liberal Democrat representative of St James’ ward said: “Greg Clark told us that he thought remaining in the EU would be best for Britain and that leaving could put the jobs of local people here in Tunbridge Wells at risk. Now he is playing a leading role in the Hard Brexit Government.
“If Greg Clark doesn’t want to stand up for the millions of people who voted to remain, including a clear majority in his own constituency, then the Liberal Democrats will.
“A narrow majority voted to leave the EU in June, and we respect that decision, but we should be given a say on the final Brexit deal. Greg Clark should support our call for a final referendum if he wants a proper debate.”
However, Mr Clark said his decision to back the Government was ‘abiding’ by the nation-wide result of the EU referendum.
He added: “I am a democrat. We had a UK-wide referendum on membership of the EU and I always said that I would abide by the result.
“Although I campaigned to remain, the majority voted to leave so we must begin negotiations with the EU. To begin negotiations, Article 50 must be invoked and so of course I will vote to do so.”