The district's MP urged constituents to help make up her mind whether or not to vote against the prime minister.

In the hours after a confidence vote in Theresa May was triggered this morning high profile Conservatives lined up to support the PM, including Sajid Javid and Phillip Hammond.

Absent from their ranks was Epping Forest MP and quiet Brexiteer Dame Eleanor Laing.

The deputy speaker said she had not made her mind up yet and would instead turn to the public for guidance on which way to vote.

She said: "In the interest of impartiality as deputy speaker I am not going to discuss my vote publicly.

"What I am doing is listening and reading all the comments that are coming from my constituents and members of the Conservative party in Epping Forest.

"They are really evenly balanced at the moment.

"It would be fair to say that my mind is not made up."

Dame Eleanor also confirmed that she was not one of the 48 MPs who submitted a letter to the 1922 committee.

She added: "I would say that it is a moment for calm rather than whipping up different factions.

"I am very grateful for all the people of Epping that have given me their views."

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