BRACKNELL MP Dr Phillip Lee has defected to the Liberal Democrats ahead of tonight's crucial Brexit vote.

The former-Conservative member of parliament is one of more than a dozen cross-party MPs hoping to push through a bill this evening which makes sure the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

Rumours have been circling that should the bill pass, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who now no longer has a parliamentary majority after Dr Lee crossed the floor, will try to call a general election. 

In a statement, Dr Lee 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.


"That is why today I am joining Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats.

"I believe the Liberal Democrats are best placed to build the unifying and inspiring political force needed to heal our divisions, unleash our talents, equip us to take the opportunities and overcome the challenges that we face as a society - and leave our country and our world in a better place for the next generations."

Dr Lee quit as a junior justice minister in June 2018 in protest at the government’s Brexit strategy.

Bracknell Forest voted to leave the EU in 2016 and many constituents have not seen eye-to-eye with Dr Lee's pro-remain stance. 

The MP has been at odds with the Bracknell Conservative Association for months after losing a confidence vote in June.

Reacting to the defection, Liberal Democrats councillor Imogen Shepherd-DuBey told the News: "The Lib Dems welcome Dr Lee to the party. 

"This is a sign the Conservatives Party is imploding.

"We welcome any other MPs who want to join us and join the fight."

David Winsper, the prospective parliamentary candidate for the Brexit Party, urged Dr Lee to call a by-election.

He said: "It can't be right that from a general election turnout of 72 per cent, of which 4,186 voted Lib Dem, this individual now seeks to represent less than 4 per cent of constituents.

"The duplicity in politics is precisely why I have lost faith in the current crop of self-serving, career politicians, who have lost touch with democracy."