Brexiteer Steve Baker RESIGNS as ERG chair as he boasts job done following UK's EU exit

The Wycombe MP has been one of the most prominent Brexit supporting politicians over the last four years and took a leading role in the 2016 referendum. However, he said it was time to focus on other issues as “UK has now left the EU and the PM has the policy, the mandate and the majority necessary to make a success of it”.

 

Mr Baker became a prominent Brexiteer, who vociferously campaigned against Theresa May's withdrawal agreement.

He led the group of eurosceptic MPs who struck down the deal a total of three times, which led to Mrs May's resignation,

The former ERG chair stood out for refusing to back the deal which Tory MPs were pressured to back at the time.

READ MORE: BBC BIAS: Brexiteer MP Steve Baker attacks BBC coverage 

The European Research Group was founded 26 years ago as a research support group for Tory MPs who wish to join.

Mr Baker was elected as the group’s chairman in September 2019, taking over from Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Ten members of the ERG acted in an official capacity for Vote Leave leading up to the EU referendum.

Other than Steve Baker, these members included Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith, Priti Patel, Liam Fox, Douglas Carswell, Chris Grayling, John Whittingdale, Ann-Marie Trevelyan and Bernard Jenkin.

During the referendum campaign, Mr Baker's role and responsibility was to smooth relations between Vote Leave and the Parliamentary Party.

He rose to prominence as the chair, and reportedly coordinated ERG meetings through a series of WhatsApp lists and groups.

Whilst appointed to junior minister in the Brexit department by Theresa May in June 2017, he later resigned alongside David Davis and then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson after the infamous Chequers plan was revealed. 

Mr Baker now wishes to focus on spending more time with his constituents in Wycombe, as well as returning to "certain economic issues which I consider at least as important to the future of the country as exiting the EU."

He concluded his letter to MP Mark Francois, saying: "Finally, while historians will one day judge, I suppose we have wielded more power from the backbenches than any others in the long history of our party and country.

"I thank God we have succeeded."

 

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