Local Conservative voters have told Hastings MP Amber Rudd she should resign following her decision to abstain on the commons Brexit vote to reject a ‘no-deal’ exit on March 14th.

In an open letter to voters in her Hastings and Rye constituency, the Work and Pensions secretary defended her action: “We had been told it would be a free [vote] so MPs could vote with their consciences, and that the Prime Minister would support not leaving the European Union on March 29th without a deal … the main motion became the only opportunity to vote to prevent no deal at the end of this month which is completely consistent with government policy.” 

However, in this explanation Ms Rudd did not address the question of why she defied the three-line government whip to vote against the motion to prevent the UK leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement. And her statement does not seem to have impressed a number of her constituents who responded angrily to her letter posted on Facebook. 

Tim Davis wrote: “A minister who abstains on a whipped vote should be sacked, or resign,” while Steve Tee said: “If you are not going to vote either way, you don’t deserve a seat in the house. Shame on you.” Meg Ann Wakelin said: “you should resign. … you and the rest of your traitor cabinet ministers that betrayed Brexit.” Some comments suggested that she could lose her seat as a result of her actions: “The people will repay you by voting you out by a huge majority,” posted Kev Parkins. Trevor Elliott agreed: “you’ve lost my vote and you won’t be getting it back.”

Of the 136 Facebook comments from Conservative and other voters, only a handful were positive or supported the MP’s stance.

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