Tory MP calls on Theresa May to sack ‘disloyal’ Philip Hammond over Brexit comments
Nadine Dorries has called for Philip Hammond to be sacked for apparent disloyalty over Brexit as pressure mounts on Theresa May’s premiership.
The Tory backbencher said the Chancellor should step down as she moved to dampen speculation around a potential leadership challenge against Mrs May.
Mr Hammond angered anti-EU Tories when he suggested this week that the UK would seek only “very modest” changes to its relationship with the bloc after Brexit.
Two of them took to the airwaves today to express their anger at the behaviour of the Chancellor.
“He needs to go. He needs to have the PM’s back and he doesn’t,” Ms Dorries told ITV's Peston on Sunday.
She fumed: “He's not being loyal to the Prime Minister."
Influential Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg also made clear his dissatisfaction with Mr Hammond’s stance, but stopped short of calling for his removal.
He told the same show: “On this issue he seems to be disagreeing with government policy, the Conservative party members and Mrs May’s speeches.
“This is a real trouble for the Government. The history of chancellors being in opposition to prime ministers is not a good one or an encouraging one.”
But he added: “I'm biting my tongue on the personality question.”
Mrs May’s leadership has been under fire over the past week, with former Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps today urging her to “name a date” for her departure or risk being ousted.
It follows reports that Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers, is worried he might soon have enough MP letters to trigger a leadership contest.
If 48 are sent to the committee - amounting to 15% of the parliamentary party - it will trigger a no-confidence vote in the Prime Minister.
But Ms Dorries said there was no appetite among voters for a change of prime minister.
She said: “A leadership challenge is not happening… it cannot happen now, we need stability… Nobody in the country wants it.”
Meanwhile, Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington called on the Conservative party to unite behind Mrs May.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “What I say to all my colleagues, is that the Conservative family, left right and centre, because we are a broad church, needs to come together in a spirit of mutual respect.”