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Johnson and Davis quit

11 July, 2018, 12:00 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Tory MPs prepare to mount May leadership push

"Top-level cabinet resignations usually spell trouble for a government and Boris Johnson's might well have led to a leadership challenge, but May appears to have emerged unscathed from a meeting of her party, for now", said Al Jazeera's Jonah Hill, reporting from London.

Last Friday, Theresa May met senior ministers to forge a position on Brexit, but despite announcing "cabinet support" for her plan, she was blindsided by two major resignations.

Brexit minister Steve Baker also left the Government, while Chris Green quit his position as an unpaid parliamentary aide at the Department for Transport.

Conservative Parliament member Peter Bone said Davis had "done the right thing", adding: "The PM's proposals for a Brexit in name only are not acceptable". Aside from the loyalty which MPs naturally feel towards their leader, many are concerned that Mrs May's removal could plunge the party into chaos, with no obvious replacement lined up, potentially setting the scene for Jeremy Corbyn to seize power in a new general election.

- Why wouldn't they want to challenge Mrs May?

At a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in London later Tuesday, May vowed to deliver a "smooth and orderly Brexit that protects jobs, livelihoods and also meets our commitment for no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland".

"It doesn't give us a proper break from the EU", Widdecombe told Xinhua.

"Dreaming is good, probably for all of us, but we have to deal with the real world", he said.

Rumours have swirled over possible further resignations but experts said May appeared to have weathered the crisis for now.

"I think it is unhelpful for me to comment on (internal British issues)".

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After the pro-Brexit politician was the star of the successful Leave campaign, it was expected he would make a bid at becoming prime minister when a humiliated David Cameron stood down.

"I don't think it is a huge surprise that there is disagreement within the British Cabinet and there is disagreement within the Conservative Party", Mr Coveney said.

Some 48 Tory MPs - 15% of the party's 316-strong representation in the Commons - must write to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, to trigger a no-confidence vote. Corbyn, addressing May in parliament, said her government should be ended if it was incapable of governing.

When asked if the PM agrees with the U.S. president's view that the United Kingdom is in "turmoil", Mrs May's official spokesman said she hopes Mr Trump will have a positive view of Britain following his visit.

In respect of Davis, I think that is highly disingenuous; having created the Department for Exiting the European Union and putting him in charge of it, the Prime Minister then progressively emasculated him on developing the policy required to ensure "Brexit means Brexit", leaving him with only the parliamentary process to oversee.

"Unfortunately his contribution to the development of bilateral ties with Russian Federation was rather modest, to put it mildly", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

May replaced Davis by appointing Dominic Raab as the new Brexit Secretary.

The Guardian newspaper quoted an unnamed Conservative MP saying the resignations would continue in protest against her plan to keep strong economic ties with the European Union - dubbed the Chequers plan after her country retreat where it was agreed last week.

His resignation comes just a month after he was heard launching a scathing attack on the government's Brexit strategy in a leaked tape from a private dinner with Conservative activists.

"I had with David Davis a frank and cordial relationship, and now I will work next Monday with this negotiator appointed by Mrs May", he told AFP.

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