MP marks Commons return in neck brace with Brexit salvo

A former Cabinet minister warned MPs risk denying the wishes of constituents over Brexit as he returned to the Commons in a neck brace following a riding accident.

Conservative Owen Paterson claimed "lasting damage to our democracy" could be done by MPs if they do not support the Government in ensuring the UK leaves the single market, customs union and jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

He also offered his "heartfelt thanks" to staff at the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries and Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, adding: "Without their extraordinary skill, professionalism and simple human kindness, I would not be here today."

He suffered two broken vertebrae in his neck and one in his back after falling from a horse in January.

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Mr Paterson quickly returned to a favoured subject upon his return by using Prime Minister's Questions to address his Brexit concerns.

The Leave supporter was heckled by some Opposition MPs as he said: "The House of Commons Library confirms estimates that 63% of the members of this House represent constituencies that voted Leave.

"Does the Prime Minister agree with me that, should those members not support her by voting for her programme of taking back control by leaving the single market, the customs union, any customs union and the remit of the ECJ, they will be denying the democratic vote of their constituents and do lasting damage to our democracy?"

Mrs May welcomed Mr Paterson back to the Commons, adding: "He's absolutely right. What this Government is doing is delivering on the vote of the British people, which was to leave the European Union. As we do that we'll ensure we get the best Brexit deal for the United Kingdom.

"It is important, and I consider it to be a matter of the integrity of politicians, that having given the choice to the British people we should then deliver for them on that choice."