Tory rebel MP 'in tears' as he is torn between own father and PM over heated Euro vote
A Tory Euro rebel MP was reportedly reduced to tears after being caught in the crossfire between his millionaire father and a furious David Cameron over a vote to stop Brussels gaining more power over Britain.
Chris Kelly, 32, was among several anti-EU Tories subjected to a four-letter onslaught by Mr Cameron as he battled to curb last week’s revolt over Europe’s ability to meddle with Parliamentary sovereignty.
Mr Kelly was among 27 Conservative MPs who defied Mr Cameron in the vote amid reports that he was more terrified of upsetting his father, Tory donor Chris Kelly senior – a leading Thatcherite with robust views on Brussels – than his party leader.
'Battle of allegiance': MP Chris Kelly junior (right) with his father, Chris Kelly senior, who owns lorry firm Keltruck and has donated thousands to the Tories
Mr Kelly junior was paid about £4,000 a month last year for eight hours of work for his father’s truck dealership.
It tops up his MP’s pay of £65,000 and helped him acquire a £30,000 BMW coupe, with his initials CDK on the number plate. It is often parked prominently in the Commons car park, making Mr Kelly the envy of MPs who do not share his family fortune.
He was in a highly emotional state after he was summoned to Mr Cameron’s Commons office.
The Prime Minister told him: ‘You are making a bloody terrible mistake, Chris, it will do your career and reputation no good at all.
'Effing and blinding': David Cameron reprimanded Mr Kelly and 26 other MPs
'And you can bloody well forget about being a Minister.’
One MP said: ‘Cameron was effing and blinding at Chris and several others. Chris took it badly. We thought he was going to defect to the Government – then he joined the rebels. The talk in the tea room was that he was more worried about upsetting his dad.’
Mr Kelly junior joined the family firm Keltruck soon after finishing his studies and has
carried on as a non-executive director after becoming MP for Dudley South at the last Election.
The Commons register shows he earned up to £4,166 a month from Keltruck last year. Recently it has fallen to £2,083 a month.
He was accused of nepotism last year after sending a round-robin email to fellow MPs begging them to give his sister Nicola – who also worked for the family business – a £30,000-a-year job as a Commons secretary.
A similar charge was made by Labour when Mr Kelly was selected as Tory candidate in Dudley South, close to his father’s HQ in West Bromwich.
He beat several high-profile contenders to win the plum nomination.
Mr Kelly senior is a member of the Midlands Industrial Council, which has raised more than £1 million for the Conservatives and whose activities were shrouded in secrecy until recently.
Keltruck gave £10,000 to the Tory association in Dudley North last year.
Mr Kelly junior refused to reveal if Mr Cameron had sworn at him.
'You're making a bloody terrible mistake, Chris. And you can bloody well forget about being a Minister'
David Cameron to Chris Kelly MP
He said: ‘I decided some time ago that this was such an important vote that I was going to vote for the amendment (against the Government) and nothing was going to change my mind. I was not close to tears at any stage.’
Asked if his father had intervened, he said: ‘What’s my father got to do with anything? I cast my vote according to my conscience and what is best for my constituency. That is the only thing I take into account.’ He added that it was ‘categorically untrue’ his father had made any threats, financial or otherwise.
When Mr Kelly senior was asked if he had urged his son to defy Mr Cameron in the EU vote, he said: ‘No. He is his own man and makes his own decisions.’ Asked if he had discussed the matter with his son, Mr Kelly replied: ‘He talked to a lot of people about the vote.’
Mr Cameron also read the riot act to Colne Valley Tory MP Jason McCartney, 42, who emerged looking ‘dazed and confused’. But he refused to buckle.
Senior Tory Brian Binley, who voted against the Government, said: ‘Cameron needs to realise the Centre-Right is as much a part of the Coalition as the Lib-Dems. Many Conservative MPs and activists feel trust is beginning to leach from the Government.’
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