CHRIS Green has defended his decision to resign from his ministerial role over the government’s Brexit plan.

The Bolton West MP quit as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on Monday night in the wake of Boris Johnson’s resignation as Foreign Secretary and David Davis decision to stand down as Brexit minister.

His decision drew criticism from some quarters – including from within his own party – with some questioning what his resignation would achieve.

But Mr Green believes Theresa May’s so-called Chequers agreement will deliver “Brexit in name only” –going against the wishes of his constituents.

And he told The Bolton News that he could not go along with the type of Brexit deal Theresa May was now pursuing.

He said: “The direction of travel the government is taking over the Brexit negotiations increasingly looks like they are going to deliver Brexit in name only. My constituents and the vast majority of people in Bolton borough voted for a clear departure from the EU.

“I have resigned to make sure I can not only speak out, but also vote in a way consistent with what constituents told me they wanted at the time of the referendum and continue to tell me.”

Back in Bolton his resignation was praised by Cllr Zoe Kirk-Robinson, Conservative ward councillor for Westhoughton North and Chew Moor.

She took to Twitter to offer a message of gratitude and support to Mr Green.

She said: “Thank you for standing by your principles, Chris. This can’t have been an easy decision. Well done.”

But he came under attack from a senior Labour councillor who accused him of acting out of self interest.

Cllr David Chadwick, Bolton’s transport chief, said: “As PPS to Chris Grayling it’s vital he is seen to be fighting the corner for Britain – particularly on transport issues. He was in a position to try to influence Chris Grayling and explain what the issues and problems are in the north. Clearly he has been conspicuous in his absence in my opinion and now he is sniping at Nick Peel about the bins – as far as I’m concerned he’s got his priorities wrong.”

He added: “It is selfish because he is not considering the country, it’s Brexit, Brexit, Brexit at all costs. He appears to be one of those people prepared to go along and have no deal whatsoever.”

But Mr Green hit back. He said: “I’m delighted that Labour are so enthusiastic in terms of supporting my influence within the Department for Transport.

“I will continue to make my case for local residents and also make sure that the fantastic amount of money being invested in the railways is maintained and that we deliver in a way that Labour politicians never have.”