RUMOURS Phillip Lee could be set to switch from the Conservative Party to the Liberal Democrats have “no substance”.

This comes despite reports the Bracknell MP could follow former Change UK MPs Chuka Ummuna, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston to the Lib Dems.

Bracknell Conservative Association (BCA) passed a motion of no confidence in their MP at the start of the month which raised questions over his future as the area’s Westminster representative.

Bracknell Tories pass motion of no confidence in Phillip Lee

But BCA chairman Gerry Barber told the News: “I have been contacted by members of the media to comment on the rumour concerning the defection of Dr Phillip Lee, Bracknell’s Conservative MP, the Liberal Democrat Party.

“Dr Lee and I have discussed this and he has assured me that there is absolutely no substance to this rumour.

“Dr Lee emphasised in last week’s interview with Andrew Peach of BBC Radio Berkshire, that he is, and always will be a Conservative.”

The Bracknell MP’s office also confirmed to the News that speculation surrounding a possible defection were simply rumours.

Phillip Lee hits back at critics

Bracknell Forest Council’s sole Liberal Democrats councillor Thomas Parker told the News the local party first heard of the rumour on Thursday night (June 13).

In a series of tweets, he reacted to the speculation, posting: “I just need to stress with all the talk about defections that I do not think party activists should be opening their arms to Dr Lee.

“You have to look beyond recent Brexit related votes in parliament. Dr Lee doesn’t have a liberal bone in his body.

“He was massively in favour of the Snoopers Charter and when I wrote to him regarding it I got told that it shouldn’t concern me if I have “nothing to hide”.

“Civil liberties are a core tenet of our party and Dr Lee isn’t with us there. Don’t even get me started on his NHS views.”

See who your MP is backing the Tory leadership election

Phillip Lee has been voting in the Conservatives leadership contest in the past week despite his preferred candidate being eliminated before the race began.

The Remain-supporting MP voiced his support for Sam Gyimah, who backed a second EU referendum, but he did not receive enough nominations to enter the election.

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