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MPs' shock at shadow minister's resignation

Gwyn Prosser: Davis abused parliament
Gwyn Prosser: Davis abused parliament
Roger Gale: a brave decision
Roger Gale: a brave decision

Kent MPs have reacted strongly to news of Shadow Home Secretary David Davis's shock announcement on Thursday.

North Thanet MP Roger Gale has described Mr Davis's decision to stand down from parliament and fight a by-election in his own seat as "a brave decision taken by a very brave man in the national interest".

Gale, who served as a vice-chairman of the Conservative Party under David Davis and who has worked in support of Davis`s leadership campaigns, said at lunchtime today:

"It is typical of the man that I have come to know to put the interests of his country before the interests of his Party and above any personal interests or ambitions."

But the shock resignation in the wake of the 42-day vote has not pleased everyone.

Dover MP Gwyn Prosser, a member of the cross-party Home Affairs select committee, described the move as an abuse of Parliament.

He said:"I am absolutely flabbergasted. It is quite extraordinary and it is pretty clear he has done this off his own back without the party leadership backing him. It is the last thing David Cameron will want and will open all sorts of divisions within the Conservative party."

Mr Davis told reporters his move was a "noble endeavour" to stop the erosion of British civil liberties.

The 59-year-old's resignation came as a complete surprise in Westminster.

"I will argue in this by-election against the slow strangulation of fundamental British freedoms by this government," he said.

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