1. ITV Report

Stephen Phillips stands down as MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham

Stephen Phillips has announced he is standing down as the MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham with immediate effect because of "irreconcilable policy differences with the current Government."

Credit: ITV News

Stephen was first elected to Parliament for Sleaford and North Hykeham in 2010.

His resignation will trigger a by-election for the seat, where he had a majority of more than 24,000 at last year's general election.

It has been a great honour to serve the people of Sleaford and North Hykeham for the last six years, but it has become clear to me over the last few months that my growing and very significant policy differences with the current Government mean that I am unable properly to represent the people who elected me.

This decision has been a difficult one and I hope that everyone will respect the fact that I have tried to act in the best interests of all of my constituents.

– Stephen Phillips

Losing one Tory MP in a resignation over her policies may have been a misfortune when Mr Cameron stood down. To lose a second one over her Heathrow policy was a significant blow. But now to lose a third only a fortnight later over Brexit amounts to a leadership crisis.

It is a sign that the Prime Minister cannot provide the change which Britain needs.

Labour will continue to press the case for a Brexit which works for Britain, putting jobs, living standards and the economy first.

In the meantime, we are now faced with another costly by-election which will be more about Tory failure and in-fighting than what is in the best interests of the country. It’s clear that even Theresa May’s own MPs realise that she has failed to lay out a convincing plan to deliver for Britain.

– Jon Trickett, Labour’s National Campaign Co-ordinator and Shadow Lord President of the Council

Stephen Phillips has been a valuable member of Parliament since 2010 and we are sorry that he has chosen to step down. We thank him for his hard work and we wish him every success in the future.

– Conservative Party spokesman