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Theresa May agrees to quit as Tory leader following crunch meeting with senior MPs

Theresa May agrees to quit as Tory leader following crunch meeting with senior MPs

Emilio Casalicchio

3 min read

Theresa May has agreed to stand down as Tory leader within weeks following a crunch meeting with senior backbenchers.

The Prime Minister will finalise the timetable for her departure from Number 10 once MPs have voted on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill at the beginning of June.

It means that regardless of whether the Commons approves her Brexit deal or not, Mrs May's time in Downing Street is now nearing the end.

The announcement came following a "frank" 90-minute meeting between the PM and the execuive of the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs.

In a statement following the meeting, committee chairman Sir Graham said: “The Prime Minister is determined to secure our departure from the European Union and is devoting her efforts to securing the 2nd Reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week commencing 3rd June 2019 and the passage of that Bill and the consequent departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union by the summer.

"We have agreed that she and I will meet following the 2nd Reading of the Bill to agree a timetable for the election of a new leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party."

Mrs May had vowed to stand down as Prime Minister once her Brexit deal has passed.

But angry Tory MPs had demanded that she set out a timetable for her resignation regardless of whether she won the backing of the Commons or not.

Mrs May still hopes to strike a Brexit deal with Labour that would see the opposition vote with the Government on the WAB, thereby guaranteeing it passes.

However, there has been little progress during six weeks of negotiations and the chances of an agreement being reached are very small.

The Government has insisted the crucial second reading of the bill must be held in the week beginning 3 June to have any chance of getting Brexit done by the summer recess. 

Reacting to the announcement, a Tory MP told PoliticsHome: "I’m not sure what else we have to do to make it clear to the Prime Minister that this isn’t working and she isn’t the right person for the job.

"It’s just so sad that she won’t be dignified, realise it’s all over and let us move on.  The last thing we want is to make it even more painful and we just wish she’d listen.  But, she hasn’t and she won’t.  And, as a result, enough is enough. 

"We aren’t going to sacrifice Brexit, our country or our party on one woman’s ego and stubbornness any longer.  This shit show has gone on for far too long."

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