Tory MPs for Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar split over Europe ahead of crunch EU referendum vote

PUBLISHED: 17:08 24 October 2011 | UPDATED: 15:06 25 October 2011

Grant Shapps MP

Grant Shapps MP


GRANT Shapps and James Clappison are set to vote differently on the EU referendum vote tonight (Monday), as the Tory split on Europe is laid bare.

Housing minister Mr Shapps told the Welwyn Hatfield Times he intends to vote with the government and said the plan for an in/out referendum must be crushed as it was not in the Tory manifesto or the Coalition Agreement.

Mr Shapps also backed Prime Minister David Cameron’s imposition of a three-line whip on Conservative MPs.

He said: “The Government has to follow its manifesto and people expect you to follow that programme.”

But Hertsmere MP James Clappison, who is a former shadow work and pensions secretary, said he intends to defy the whips and rebel against Mr Cameron.

The MP, who is one of the original referendum motion’s signatories, said: “I would be happy to vote in favour of a referendum.

“I’ve voted against a three-line whip over Europe on several occasions over a period of time.”

He added: “A lot of people in our constituencies are asking for a referendum and rightly so, as we’ve not had one for a long time.”

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