FIVE Northamptonshire MPs were among the 81 Conservatives who rebelled against the Government to support a motion proposing a debate on UK membership of the European Union.
Those who voted for the motion were Brian Binley from Northampton South, Andrea Leadsom from South Northamptonshire, Chris Heaton-Harris from Daventry, Philip Hollobone from Kettering and Peter Bone from Wellingborough.
Of the county’s seven Conservative MPs, only one, Northampton North’s Michael Ellis, voted with the Government.
Speaking before the vote, he said: “I can’t stand the suffocating bureaucracy and undemocratic behaviour of Europe and I urgently want to see a re-negotiation of our terms with them.
“But 50 per cent of our trade is with Europe and we need to have a seat at the table at which the rules of the market are made.
“It is also the wrong time to have this debate with a major crisis in the Eurozone.
“With that crisis there is a real opportunity to re-negotiate our interests.
“I am a firm Eurosceptic but for those reasons I am going to vote with the government tonight.”
Commenting via Twitter after the vote, Daventry’s MP, Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “For the record, yes I did make it back for the debate and vote, no I didn’t get called to speak and yes, I voted for a referendum. Now can we get back to sorting out the economy?”
Corby’s MP, Louise Mensch, did not make it to the vote, but agreed with Mr Ellis that now was not the right time for a referendum.
Speaking on Twitter, she said: “Likely to miss EU vote. But wrong time for referendum particularly one worded so as to split the sceptic vote bang down the middle.”