Government loses majority as GP/MP defects to Lib Dems

Boris Johnson's government has lost its majority in parliament after Dr Phillip Lee, a GP and Conservative MP for Bracknell, defected to the Liberal Democrats on Tuesday.

Dr Phillip Lee (Photo: Chris McAndrew)
Dr Phillip Lee (Photo: Chris McAndrew)

Dr Lee becomes the second former Conservative GP/MP to join the Lib Dems this month - following health select committee chair Dr Sarah Wollaston's decision to join the party after the collapse of the breakaway Change UK party.

Dr Lee hit out at the government and the current Conservative leadership in a strongly worded statement outlining his decision to defect.

The Bracknell MP, who continues to work as a GP, said: 'This Conservative government is aggressively pursuing a damaging Brexit in unprincipled ways. It is putting lives and livelihoods at risk unnecessarily and it is wantonly endangering the integrity of the United Kingdom.

'More widely, it is undermining our country’s economy, democracy and role in the world. It is using political manipulation, bullying and lies. And it is doing these things in a deliberate and considered way.'

Dr Lee's decision to quit the party leaves the Conservative government one short of a majority despite the support of the DUP - and takes the total number of Lib Dem MPs to 15.

A former junior government minister, Dr Lee resigned from his role as a parliamentary under secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice in 2018 over Theresa May's government's handling of Brexit.

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