A CONSTITUENT has accused Otley's MP of 'breaking a promise' over Brexit for a second time.

Thomas Shakespeare first made the claim against Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) in June, shortly after he had been elected.

On that occasion Mr Sobel had abstained on a Labour amendment vote that called for the UK to remain within the customs union and single market.

Last week the MP also abstained - as did his party's front bench - on a similar amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill which, like before, was supported by some 44 Labour rebels.

Mr Shakespeare says both votes represent Mr Sobel 'going back on his word' as, in June, he stated he would 'defend the UK’s membership of the Single Market, Customs Union and rights of EU citizens, irrespective of the whip'.

He said: "It is staggering Alex Sobel has broken a clear personal promise not once, but twice, in his first six months as an MP.

"When he did so in June it must have broke the record for the quickest broken promise ever by an MP, but now he has done the same again local people will be appalled.

"He has shown he will always do what his party bosses tell him to do, which is not the kind of MP people want in Leeds North West."

Pro-EU campaigner James Sebright, who used to work for the former Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland, said: "Alex Sobel has basically hoodwinked people by claiming to be prepared to back UK entry of

the single market irrespective of his whip, but then just doesn’t have the courage to do so.

"This is a betrayal of the all the pro-EU people in Leeds who backed him.

"They did so because of his commitments before the election, despite Labour’s mixed messages over Brexit.

"Now he has shown that, far from being a passionate Remainer, he is just a career politician who will always toe the party line and say all things to all people which is a huge disappointment to many."

Mr Sobel, however, insists he is simply choosing his battles wisely.

He said: "There have been about 50 votes on the EU exit since Article 50 was triggered and the EU Withdrawal Bill was put before the house.

"Some of the amendments put forward were well meaning but badly drafted.

"On such a serious matter I will not vote for any amendment that could make a hard Brexit more likely by creating poor legislation.

"Members of the former MP’s campaign team may seek to discredit my voting record but most people realise Brexit is a complex and evolving process, too important for cheap political point scoring.

"I will not be deterred from voting to prevent a ‘hard’ Brexit that will damage the economy and working people.

"Last week MPs from both sides of the house came together to ensure a major victory for those who believe Parliament - not Conservative ministers - should have the final say on the Brexit deal.

"This is a major step forward.

"I urge local Liberal Democrats to work with me in fighting against a chaotic, Conservative Brexit."