Tory MP tells Theresa May she has 'failed' on Brexit and should quit

A Conservative MP has told Theresa May to her face that she has "failed" on Brexit and should "step aside".

Andrea Jenkyns rose to her feet in the Commons during PMQs and told the prime minister that she had lost the trust of the public.

 
 

The direct call for Mrs May to quit comes as pressure increases on her to name a date for her departure amid growing Tory anger over Brexit.

 
Image:Andrea Jenkyns is a long-standing critic of the prime minister

"She's tried her best, nobody could fault or doubt her commitment and sense of duty, but she has failed," the MP for Morley and Outwood in West Yorkshire told the chamber.

"The public no longer trust her to run Brexit negotiations.

 
"Isn't it time to step aside and let someone else lead our country, our party and the Brexit negotiations?"

Mrs May gave the call short shrift, responding: "This is not an issue about me and it's not an issue about her.

"If it were an issue about me and the way I vote, we would already have left the European Union."

Jeremy Corbyn also sought to capitalise on the PM's travails, telling her she should seek out Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for advice about "getting a good result in Europe".

The German boss masterminded a stunning comeback in the Champions League on Tuesday, overturning a 3-0 first leg deficit to prevail 4-3 on aggregate.

Mrs May turned the question around, replying: "I actually think that when we look at the Liverpool win over Barcelona last night, what it shows is that when everyone says it's all over, that your European opposition have got you beat, the clock is ticking down, it's time to concede defeat, actually we can still secure success if everyone comes together."


 
 
 
 
 The chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 committee Sir Graham Brady met the prime minister privately later on Tuesday and said she had not offered any further clarity about her future or a departure date.

He added that Mrs May had agreed to meet the committee next week, in part to address the anger in the group over the party's worst performance in the recent local elections for 24 years.

Senior Conservative backbenchers on the 1922 committee also met and discussed the outcome of the meeting between their chair and their PM.

Leaving the 1922 meeting, Brexiteer MP Nadine Dorries said: "She's not given any decision, there's no timetable and they need to get on with it.

"We need to make sure we get that final decision soon because everybody needs it."

The committee voted against approving a change in party rules to allow an earlier no confidence vote in Mrs May, but made clear it wants more "clarity" from her on when she intends to leave Downing Street.

The PM promised earlier this year that she would quit once a Brexit deal has been passed, but this appears to be a remote prospect at the moment.


 
 Speaking after PMQs, a Downing Street source indicated that Mrs May is resisting calls for a more specific timetable.

"The PM made a very generous and bold offer to the 1922 Committee a few weeks ago that she would see through phase one of the Brexit process and she would leave and open up for new leadership for phase two," they said.

"That's the timetable she is working towards. She wants to get Brexit done."

The clamour for Mrs May to go has been given added impetus by a dire set of local election results for the Tories last week and the confirmation on Tuesday that Britain will definitely be taking part in the European elections on 23 May.

Her deputy, David Lidington, has suggested he hopes a Brexit deal can be sorted out by July, with speculation Mrs May could seek to hang on until the annual Conservative Party conference in the autumn.


 
 Meanwhile, cross-party talks with Labour to try and find a way out of the impasse have continued.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "This is the second extended meeting between the government and the opposition, which demonstrates the seriousness with which both sides are approaching these talks.

"Over the coming days there will be more meetings of the bilateral working groups and further exchanges of documents as we seek to nail down the details of what has been discussed."

A Labour Party spokesperson added: "After the second day of talks this week, the negotiating teams are working to establish scope for agreement, and will meet again at the beginning of next week."

 

 

The Guardian