THERESA May has stared down Tory rebels today to insist she won’t quit as PM until Brexit has been delivered.
Tory Brexiteer Andrea Jenkyns insisted she had “failed” to get us out of the EU and must quit now.
AFP or licensors Theresa May has to set out a deadline to go before Tories could move to change party rules
The PM has been told she must set out a date for her departure in days or face a fresh revolt from fuming backbenchers who are trying to show her the door.
Ms Jenkyns said at PMQs this lunchtime: “She has tried her best, nobody can doubt or fault her sense of duty. But she has failed.”She has failed to deliver on her promises and lost 1,400 hard-working councillors, and sadly the public no longer trusts her to lead the Brexit negotiations.”Isn’t it time to step aside and let someone else lead our party, our country and the negotiations?”
But the PM said this was “not an issue about me” and said a new leader wouldn’t change the Commons deadlock.
A No10 spokesperson made it clear that she has no intention of bringing forward her departure unto the first stage of Brexit is done.
The source said: “She is here to deliver Brexit in phase one, and then she will leave and make way for new leadership in phase two.”
If she doesn’t agree to step down soon, a top committee of backbenchers could decide to change the party rules and allow another leadership challenge to her.
A bid to change the rules was defeated already last month – but it’s understood that members of the backbench 1922 committee won’t be holding a fresh vote tonight, however.
Friends of Graham Brady say he had a “very constructive” chat with the PM yesterday in No10 and is now awaiting her thoughts.
Next month the Prime Minister faces a symbolic vote of no confidence from her Tory grassroots associations, who are holding a general meeting to show their lack of support.
800 members will be asked to vote on a motion saying they want her to stand down as they don’t feel she is the right person to carry on as PM.
Dinah Glover, who organised the petition, told the i newspaper: “The party at the moment is in absolute meltdown because they are terrified she is going to do a deal which will do damage to our country.”
Activists were furious at the Brexit deal which wouldn’t really deliver what the people voted for, she added.
Today Tory backbencher Robert Halfon also vented his fury.
He wrote in ConservativeHome: “What a s**t show.
“Our failure to deliver Brexit, broken promises to properly address burning social injustices, our continued Party disunity and a lack of strong leadership brought about this disaster.”
He also attacked the choice to ignore the thousands of councillors who lost seats last week – and party activists who were battling for the soup of the party.
“Creating such a self-indulgent drama was an utterly selfish decision from an utterly selfish Number 10 machine,” he blasted. “Do they even care about the future of the Party?”
Theresa May vows to channel Liverpool miracle in Brexit talksBy Hugo GyeTHERESA May has vowed to take inspiration from Liverpool’s miracle win last night in Brexit talks with the EU.
She joked that even when it looks like “your European opposition has got you beat” she could still pull off an unlikely victory.
The quip came at Prime Minister’s Questions after Jeremy Corbyn called on Mrs May to consult Liverpool’s manager on how to win in Europe.
The Labour boss said: “In view of the amazing performance of Liverpool last night, perhaps the Prime Minister can get some tips from Jurgen Klopp on how to get a good result in Europe.”
Mrs May hit back: “I actually think that when we look at the Liverpool win over Barcelona last night, what it actually shows is that when everyone says it’s all over, that your European opposition has got you beat, the clock’s ticking down, it’s time to concede defeat – actually we can still secure success if everyone comes together.”
Last night Liverpool pulled off an amazing comeback to beat Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield.
They will now go through to the Champions League final against either Tottenham or Ajax.
Under a scenario discussed by the 1922 Committee last month, Mrs May could stand down as leader after the May 23 election but stay on as Prime Minister.
The backbench boss, Sir Graham Brady, met with the PM yesterday.
A member of the 1922 committee, Nigel Evans said: “I hope Sir Graham is able to find out what her timetable for leaving is going to be.”And clearly a date sooner than later as the Prime Minister is already facing an – in a unprecedented fashion – an extraordinary general meeting of the National Convention when association chairs will get to vote in no confidence motion.”It’s never happened before and I’m sure it’s something the Prime Minister would want to avoid.”
At the moment she is safe from being forced out until December after she won a vote of no confidence last year.
But No10 said she was working towards getting a deal in place by the summer now – which could mean she will stay as PM until the autumn to hand over to a new leader.
Yesterday Mrs May was forced to admit that Britain would be taking part in the EU elections on May 23, despite saying several times it would be “unacceptable” to do so almost three years after voting to leave the bloc.
The news has infuriated her own MPs and heaped even more pressure on her to go.
Theresa May says Liverpool’s victory over Barcelona proves Britain can win in Brexit negotiations with EU
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Last week the Tories got a pummelling in the local elections, which have only upset local associations further.
Once Mrs May officially says she will step down, a leadership challenge will be triggered.
Tory MPs will whittle the number down to two and then the members will choose the next leader and PM.
Britain would be out of EU by now if we had a real Brexiteer as PM, Andrea Leadsom says
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