Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Brexit: Theresa May pulls key legislation but tries to hold on

London England. Leadsom is quitting Prime Minister Theresa May's Cabinet over Brexit Senior U.K. Cabinet Member Resigns is Latest Brexit Blow for Theresa May
Patty Aguilar | 24 May, 2019, 15:58

The Cabinet turmoil intensified after Mrs Leadsom said she resigned with a "heavy heart", adding she no longer believed the Government's approach would deliver on the referendum result to leave the European Union.

The drama came as millions of people in Britain cast their ballots on Thursday for the European Parliament elections.

"I have always maintained that a second referendum would be dangerously divisive, and I do not support the Government willingly facilitating such a concession".

Mr Spencer was deputising at business questions following the resignation of Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom, who stormed out of Government in protest at Mrs May's Brexit stance.

Brady will have with him sealed letters from committee members with their verdicts on whether rules should be changed to allow an immediate vote of confidence in May, they said. If she refuses to resign, that vote could well take place very soon.

The source said a new leader would ideally be in place by the end of the summer to get a Brexit deal through Parliament before October 31, the date now set for the UK's exit from the European Union.

The Prime Minister announced on Tuesday that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill would include "a requirement to vote on whether to hold a second referendum" and a choice over the UK's future customs arrangements, after discussions with her cabinet.

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The treasurer of the 1922 Committee, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, said he expected May would stay on as a caretaker prime minister while a successor was chosen.

Ms James, speaking after attending an event in London, told the Press Association: "It's all very regrettable but she's being hounded out of office because Parliament will not make a decision and the parties just have an inability to compromise".

Mrs Leadsom's resignation saw her become the 36th minister to step down during Mrs May's premiership. On Wednesday, the Cabinet attempted to force her to leave the post but she instead insisted she would "campaign vigorously" as the United Kingdom heads back to the polls in the European elections.

After a crisis-riven premiership of nearly three years, May is due to meet the chairman of the powerful Conservative 1922 Committee, which can make or break prime ministers, to set out a timetable for her departure.

The party's legislators want May to agree Friday that she will quit, triggering a Conservative leadership contest.

"The 1922 Committee are coming in with a revolver and basically pointing it at her head", said Gus O'Donnell, Britain's top civil servant from 2005 to 2011.

A replacement Commons Leader is expected to be announced later on Thursday, Downing Street said.

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