Article 50 vote: Meg Hillier reveals why she rebelled, nothing yet from Diane Abbott

MPs Diane Abbott (left) and Meg Hillier (right)

MPs Diane Abbott (left) and Meg Hillier (right) - Credit: Archant

Meg Hillier has said Hackney’s overwhelming anti-Brexit showing was the reason she voted against the triggering of Article 50 last night.

The Hackney South and Shoreditch MP joined 46 Labour colleagues in rebelling against the three-line whip imposed by Jeremy Corbyn.

Hackney had one of the highest turnouts of remain voters in the country last June, with 78 per cent wanting to stay in the EU.

Ms Hillier said: “After months of silence the government was forced into giving Parliament a vote on exiting the European Union.

“Hackney voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.

“This is the biggest constitutional change to this country in generations. I could not walk blindly through a lobby to trigger a process without a shred of detail from the government.”

Meanwhile, Diane Abbott’s office has not responded to a request for comment from the Gazette over how she would have voted had she not been too ill to do so.

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The shadow home secretary left Parliament at 5pm, two hours before the historic vote, reportedly due to a migraine.

The Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP, one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest friends in parliament, had been under pressure to rebel and has been accused of “bottling it”.

Last month she told Andrew Neil on The Sunday Politics: “We will not work to block it.”