MP holds back decision on EU vote until after local debate
MP James Heappey won't reveal which way he will be voting in next
month's EU referendum until after a local debate is held on the
issue in Highbridge.
James Heappey declined
to tell the BBC Daily Politics show presenter Andrew Neil
about his voting intentions during an interview on Friday (May
20th), except to say that he made up his mind two weeks ago and
will inform constituents after an upcoming series of local public
debates about the EU issue to be held during June.
of his local EU debates will be held in Highbridge Community Hall
on June 16th, chaired by Mr Heappey, where arguments on both sides
will be debated.
MP said he thinks the UK will vote to remain in the EU, but that
the wind in the south west of England and the Burnham-On-Sea area
is "probably leaning out".
I was genuinely undecided but the great luxury of being in parliament
is that I get to walk through the voting lobbies most evenings
with the cabinet and leading campaigners on both sides of the
debate meant that I was able to get answered some of the questions
I had and come to my own conclusion," he said.
the reality for my constituents is that they don't have that sort
of access to those sorts of people so I have set myself to deliver
the best quality debate I can in my constituency and then once
those are all done I will come clean on what I am thinking."
added: "People have a right to know how their MP is going
to vote in this - it's a referendum so my vote is worth no more
than any of my constituents but I think they will want to know
how I will vote and also no-one likes the sort of person who claims
to have supported Leicester City all season once they've won but
I think it's important to get my mark out there before the vote."
whether he is waiting to see 'which way the wind blows' in the
constituency, he responded: "No, I am pretty clear which
way the wind is blowing in my constituency. I think that my constituency
and the south west region is probably 'leaning out' and actually
one of the things that bothers me most about the referendum is
that it's likely there will be regions that vote one way while
the country as a whole votes another. That creates a challenge
to bring everyone together afterwards."
I vote is really immaterial, this is about my constituents."
went on to predict that he "suspects the country will vote