BREXIT: Theresa May is said to have offered ‘no concessions’ to key eurosceptic Tory MPs and told to get behind her Brexit deal.
The prime minister hosted a number of key politicians at her Chequers retreat on Sunday afternoon amid claims her own Cabinet is plotting to oust her as leader. Brexiteers including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson reportedly told her to lay out a clear plan for her departure from Downing Street in order for them to back the deal.
Who was at the table for the crucial Chequers talks?
- The Prime Minister
- Chief Whip Michael Gove
- Boris Johnson
- Jacob Rees-Mogg
- Brandon Lewis
- Steve Baker
- Dominic Raab
- David Davis
- Iain Duncan Smith
- David Lidington
- Alistair Burt
- Steve Barclay
- Damian Green
But one source told the Mirror Mrs May refused set a date to step down and offered them ‘no concessions’ to convince them to back her in a third meaningful vote later this week. Instead, she reportedly threatened the mutinous MPs with a softer Brexit unless they fell back in line behind her.
The source said: ‘It was back my deal or get a softer Brexit’. On the day Mrs May summoned the group for lengthy discussions on the future of Brexit, the papers were dominated by reports of a ‘Cabinet coup’ aiming to remove her as leader. According to The Sunday Times, 11 cabinet ministers wanted her to step aside and make way for a replacement.
Her de facto deputy David Lidington has been named as her potential caretaker replacement, while several are said to be ready to throw their weight behind Environment Secretary Michael Gove. However, both of them refuted the claims and restate their backing for the Prime Minister.
Mr Gove said it was ‘not the time to change the captain of the ship’, while Mr Lidington said he had no desire to take over the reins. Chancellor Philip Hammond accused those allegedly trying to topple Mrs May of being ‘self-indulgent’, while former party leader Iain Duncan Smith told ministers who briefed against the Prime Minister to apologise and ‘shut up’. Mrs May is to confront her warring Cabinet on Monday morning.
On Saturday, more than a million people are believed to have marched through central London demanding a so-called People’s Vote, with Hammond saying a second referendum was a ‘perfectly coherent position’ that ‘deserves to be considered along with the other proposals’. Meanwhile, an online petition calling on the Government to cancel Brexit this afternoon reached five million signatures. MPs will be given the chance to seek to take control of the Brexit process from the Government if they back plans for a series of indicative votes when they vote on their favoured Brexit outcomes on Monday night.