David Gauke MP defeats moves against him in his local party

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South West Hertfordshire MP David Gauke has defeated a motion of no confidence that was brought against him within his local branch of the Conservative Party.

Mr Gauke, who is a member of the cabinet as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, was a supporter of the Remain campaign during the referendum, and has been outspoken about the issue ever since.

The no-confidence motion was defeated 123 to 61.

Although the move would not have automatically removed Mr Gauke as the area’s MP or meant he was deselected from standing in the next election, it would have significantly weakened his position.

The closed meeting was held on Friday night at Kings Langley Community Centre, and is understood to have lasted for more than two-and-a-half hours.

Brexit is believed to have been the key issue at hand.

Tweeting after the meeting, Mr Gauke wrote: “Tonight, I argued that:

“We should not allow the Party to be taken over by entryists.

“We should be a broad church.

“No deal would be immensely damaging to the UK.

“I defeated a motion of no confidence 123 to 61. I am grateful to the members of my association for their support.”

Mr Gauke has blamed “wishful thinking” by some of his pro-Brexit colleagues during the referendum campaign for fuelling voter anger.

Although he advocates leaving the European Union with a deal he has said that a No Deal Brexit would have a “significant impact” on living standards across the country.

Mr Gauke supported outsider Rory Stewart during the current Conservative Party and has not subsequently offered support to either of the final two candidates - Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson.