MEP Louis Stedman-Bryce resigns from Brexit Party
Louis Stedman-Bryce has announced that he has resigned from the Brexit Party over its selection of a candidate linked to homophobic posts on social media and its failure to deliver on Brexit promises.
Stedman-Bryce said that the found himself in the situation where his “personal values” were in “direct conflict” with those of his party.
The MEP, who represents Scotland in the European Parliament, was elected in June and will now sit as an independent.
The Brexit Party announced on Monday that it was withdrawing support from its Glenrothes candidate, Victor Robert Farrell, after homophobic comments were found on a Facebook account under his name.
Stedman-Bryce had also been selected to stand for the Brexit Party as a candidate in the general election, but last week announced he was withdrawing in protest at the party’s decision not to run in seats currently held by the Conservatives.
He said that he was withdrawing from the election “with a heavy heart” because he did not trust Boris Johnson to deliver the type of Brexit he voted for and that the deal Johnson proposed would be “devastating to our country and our future prosperity”.
“Whilst I supported a localised agreement with the Tories in Scotland to help prevent the onslaught of the SNP, I cannot support standing down [candidates] across all Tory seats,” Stedman-Bryce added.
Today in a video message filmed in his European Parliament office he announced he had taken the further decision to leave the Brexit Party.
He said: “Last week I announced on Twitter that it was with a heavy heart that I would be standing down as a candidate in the forthcoming general election.
“This week it saddens me further to say that I’ve taken the decision to leave the Brexit Party.
“This is because I find myself in a situation where my personal values are in direct conflict with those of the party and this for me is an area where I cannot and will not compromise.
“Almost a quarter of a million people in Scotland voted for the Brexit Party to represent them here in the European Parliament and to ensure that Scotland had a voice in the Brexit debate, but unfortunately I feel the party has repeatedly failed to deliver on either of those promises.
“The Brexit Party’s recent decision to select a Scottish candidate who has openly posted homophobic views across social media is not only a betrayal of the LGBT community, but also a betrayal of everyone who believes that such divisive and hateful views have no place in our society.
“Whilst the Brexit Party’s position on Brexit may have changed, mine has not, and I remain committed to Brexit and to the people of Scotland who voted for me and I will fight on unhindered as an independent MEP to ensure our voice is heard.”