PHILLIP LEE has hit back at members of the Bracknell Conservative Association (BCA) in a defiant letter defending his position as Bracknell’s MP.

Yesterday the News revealed the BCA is set to discuss whether it has confidence in Dr Lee after more than 50 members signed a letter calling for a debate.

This has triggered a special general meeting of the BCA on Saturday, June 1, when the discussion will take place.

Read more about Bracknell Conservative Association's move to hold a no-confidence vote

But now Dr Lee has slammed members who signed the petition, claiming more than half of them joined the association less than a year ago and called the vote of confidence an “unpleasant sideshow”.

The member of parliament also revealed he will NOT be attending the BCA’s meeting because it is an “attempt to intimidate” him.

In a statement, he said: “I regret that this vote has been called – in reality it’s an unpleasant sideshow with zero practical effect because nothing happens as a result. I’m the Conservative MP for Bracknell now and I’ll still be the Conservative MP for Bracknell afterwards.

“It is part of a broader, coordinated campaign by wealthy individuals and organisations in this country and around the world to manipulate democracy for their own ends. For many months I have warned of this malign influence. Well-funded advertising campaigns have explicitly encouraged people to join the Conservative Party in order to get rid of elected Members of Parliament who do not share their narrow view on the type of Brexit this country should adopt.

“Such entryism has never been a feature of Conservative politics in this country. I’m sad that it appears we are vulnerable to the sort of public manipulation that I believe also influenced the outcome of the EU referendum.

“This entryism is helping to make sure that elements of the current membership are increasingly out of touch with the views of the electorate. And it is helping to create a climate of fear and intimidation. If these elements prevail, we can be sure that the public won’t choose a Conservative Government again.”

Passionate remain supporter Philip Lee quit as a junior justice minister in June 2018 in protest at the government’s Brexit strategy.

Since then, rumours about Dr Lee’s future have been circulating as many residents have clashed with his views on Brexit.

But in his statement, the member of parliament addressed his differences in opinion with some of his constituents and revealed he will NOT be attending the BCA’s vote on Saturday, June 1.

He continued: “At its root, this meeting is an attempt to intimidate me and change my stance on the most important issue this country has faced for over 70 years. I will not attend a meeting that is only intended to damage me and the Party. Those who support me should not feel obliged to attend either. We should not play into the hands of a narrow group that seeks to destroy the Conservative Party from within. Intimidation will not work on me.

“Most people will look at this spectacle – members of an MP’s own Party playing political games – with confusion and dismay. But I am not the first dedicated and loyal Conservative MP to be targeted in this way, and I am sure I will not be the last.

“The people and organisations behind these campaigns don’t have deliverable or desirable solutions to the complex challenges our country faces, such as climate change, the sustainability of our health and welfare systems and the threat of extremism. They do not offer a realistic, positive and meaningful future for our country in the 21st century.

“We need to act against this threat to our democracy. I appeal to every Bracknell constituent who wants to promote decent, honourable politics to make your voice heard – join the Conservative Party locally, support me and help to secure a better future for us all.”