Following an eventful week in Parliament, I thought it would be useful to share the statement that I posted on my Facebook page regarding the outcome of the confidence vote:
I have always said I am a democrat, and I am...
I fully accept the vote of Conservative MPs in Parliament today to give support to Theresa May, though I myself had hoped for a change that might strengthen Government's approach to Brexit. I cannot on the one hand stand in Parliament and say MPs must respect the referendum result, and not respect this result myself. For me this puts the question of leadership to bed, and Theresa May must now have the opportunity to deliver the change that she has promised.
What happens next... Well the fact that over a third of the Parliamentary party voted 'no' this evening shows the extent of the concern about Mrs May's Brexit deal. I welcome the change in her language today, moving from ''seeking reassurances from Europe'' in her statement earlier in the week, to now "seeking legal changes to the agreement". That recognition and shift in approach is a hugely important factor in winning those colleagues back to her side and getting back for a Brexit deal.
I can't speak for all colleagues, but I did not come to Parliament to kick up a fuss, to be on the telly, or to be a problem. I have made the decisions I have made because I believe them to be the right ones, and in the aftermath of this vote I hope to have the opportunity - with changes to the Withdrawal Agreement that make it an acceptable deal for the UK - to work with Government to deliver the Brexit that Mansfield voted for.
I hope colleagues and constituents can trust in my good intentions, whether they agree with my decisions or not, and also accept and respect that I have sought to handle myself over these difficult days in a way that is respectful, polite and measured - something that sadly cannot be said for a handful of others. Throwaway insults between colleagues at times like this only serve to deepen the divisions that exist.
We now have to look forward and work to find a way to bridge the gap between the deal that is currently on offer, and a deal that truly delivers a good Brexit for Mansfield and the UK. That should be Government and Parliament's focus in the coming weeks and months.