Recently I made clear my commitment to see an in/out referendum put before the British public. I have spent my entire political life campaigning for a referendum, frequently when it was not as popular as it is now, and I therefore couldn’t be happier with the Prime Minister’s commitment to finally deliver one.
However, there are those that are not yet convinced a referendum will happen. For this reason I made a very clear promise.
“If I am elected as a Conservative MP and we don’t deliver the referendum I will resign from the Conservative Party and sit in the House of Commons as an independent. People should be in no doubt that the promised referendum will happen. If it doesn’t I will resign my party membership and campaign as an independent to finally have our relationship with the EU ratified or rejected.”
I thought this commitment was very clear and very measured. I was therefore surprised by the attacks from both Labour and UKIP activists. Their personal attacks were shocking. Labour activists told me to join UKIP and UKIP activists accused me of being a liar.
No one that wants to us to hold a referendum on our future in the European Union could possibly be offended by this. Unless, of course, they don’t want there to be a referendum at all.