Andrew Selous has said that he has no regrets the government held a referendum on Britain’s EU membership, despite the result.
In a tightly run contest the UK has voted to leave the European Union, despite London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backing staying in.
In the run-up to the referendum Mr Selous, Conservative MP for South West Beds, campaigned for Remain and urged voters in Central Bedfordshire not to vote for Brexit.
However voters in Central Beds overwhelmingly voted to leave the EU – in all 89,134 (56.1%) opted for Brexit.
Despite his disappointment at the overall result, Mr Selous has told the Dunstable Gazette that the government was right to hold the referendum.
He said: “Even though I worry about the future it was the right think to have the referendum.
“The UK shouldn’t give away its powers without the agreement of the people, I fully respect the will of the people.
Mr Selous, who is the minister for prisons, added his hope that the UK will be able to unite after what has been a historic vote.
He said: “It has been a divisive campaign that I have not enjoyed.
“It has split families and parties and I think there is a need for people to respect each other whichever way we voted.
“I think the country can come back together and put its shoulder behind the wheel to keep the economy moving.”
Shortly after 8am Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to stand down in the coming months, in order to give way to a leader who will negotiate the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Mr Selous has paid tribute to the PM, but told the Gazette he ‘understands’ Mr Cameron’s decision.
The South West Beds MP said: “I am disappointed to lose him.
“He has presided over a period of prosperity and growing jobs figures – more than two million more employed.
“We have had one of the fastest growing economies in the last three years.”