Nobody needs any prizes for suggesting that Mrs May will put her own political career above the good of the rest of the United Kingdom. She is the most blatantly selfish prime minister who ever pretended to be a public servant.
But her continued leadership of the Conservative Party – and the government – could be cut short on Wednesday.
She has been summoned to a meeting of the Conservative backbench 1922 committee amid warnings that the number of MPs who have written to call for a vote of “no confidence” in her leadership is dangerously close to the 48 needed to trigger such a vote.
Apparently Mrs May has not yet agreed to attend but she has been warned that she will only make a confidence vote more likely if she gives her backbenchers the cold shoulder. One MP is said to have told the Mail on Sunday that she should “bring her own noose” in any case.
According to Metro, “Andrew Bridgen, another Tory critic of Mrs May, told the newspaper: ‘This week Theresa May will find that she is drinking in the last chance saloon and the bad news for her is that the bar is already dry.
“‘If she doesn’t turn up to the ’22 that will only make the letters go in even faster.’
“A source told The Sun: ‘There is no orchestrated campaign to remove her but there is mounting dissatisfaction in every quarter.”
It is her failure to negotiate an acceptable Brexit deal with the EU27 countries that has put Mrs May’s career in danger.
Last week she attended a summit at which no progress was made, despite last-minute talks the weekend before.
The MP she sent to carry out those negotiations was current Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab. Here’s a quick precis of his views:
— Labour Press Team (@labourpress) October 21, 2018
Mr Raab told Sky News: “Now is the time to play for the team”, adding: “We are at the end stage of the negotiation.
“It is understandable that there are jitters on all sides of this debate.
“We need to hold our nerve. The end is in sight in terms of a good deal, the prize we want.”
He would say that, wouldn’t he? Mrs May chose him to negotiate and he made a mess of it so, if she goes, he could go too.
Also supportive of Mrs May was Robert Halfon. He told Sky‘s Sophy Ridge: “I say to the people giving those quotes, this is not the way to change things.”
He said the Tories had a “serious image problem” and warned that voters only associate the party with austerity or Brexit.
But he dismissed suggestions it was time for Mrs May to go: “I don’t think a change of leader would particularly help, particularly in the middle of Brexit,” he said.
Those are all the pro-May comments I have at the moment. Let’s see what her detractors say.
Here’s a source quoted by The Sun: “There is no orchestrated campaign to remove her but there is mounting dissatisfaction in every quarter.
“Theresa’s credibility is sinking fast. MPs are beginning to wonder that if she can’t deliver a deal with the EU, if she is up to the job of taking us out without one.
“If you think the current state of affairs is bad, just imagine what it would be like if there’s no deal. Brexit would be at stake – and so would the security of the nation.”
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis wrote in the Mail on Sunday that Mrs May had “managed to anger not just Leavers but ardent Remainers as well”.
He said that the EU has plenty to lose if the UK crashes out of the bloc without a deal in March, adding: “We should not allow ourselves to be bullied by the EU.”
We have already discussed the words of Johnny Mercer, of course.
And Brextremist Suella Braverman, whose own views on the subject were demolished here, has refused to say she’ll support Mrs May in any vote.
She was interviewed by the BBC’s John Pienaar. Here‘s the Mirror‘s account of the confrontation:
“Mr Pienaar asked Mrs Braverman: “If it comes to a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister, can you say now that you would vote for her?”
“She replied: “I’m supporting the prime minister, this is my job, I’m here in the government. I’m very pleased to be working in the government.”
“Pienaar tried again: “Can you say now you would vote for her?”
“And again, Braverman dodged the question: “I am supporting the PM as unequivocal and I’m really clear about that and I want the Prime Minister to continue in her job.
“”I’m here to support her in delivering Brexit and I have the confidence in her to do that.”
“The radio host repeated his question a third and final time: “I’m sorry to be unbelievably pedantic, I know you’re supporting the Prime Minister, but can you say after me, ‘if there’s a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister I will vote for her'”
“But still, Braverman refused to answer: “I don’t think there will be a vote of confidence in the PM and I am supporting the Prime Minister unequivocally and I want her to get on with the job to deliver Brexit and I know that she will be doing that.””
Given her record, Mrs May must know that the best thing she can do for the people of the UK is quit.
Do you think she’ll accept the evidence and go quietly?
Nor do I. Buy popcorn – this could be a fascinating week’s viewing.
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