WATCH: Michael Fallon says Cabinet ministers have told Theresa May to take more collective approach
Cabinet ministers have told the Prime Minister she must adopt a more collective approach to government in the wake of Thursday’s general election, Michael Fallon has revealed.
The Defence Secretary said that with Mrs May now leading a minority government, Conservative MPs must be more involved in policy development.
The Cabinet minister said he and others had made it “clear” to the Tory leader she must adapt her approach after losing seats on a bruising evening for the Conservatives.
Mr Fallon said he welcomed the departure of Mrs May's controversial joint chiefs of staff, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, and said he hoped it signalled a return to Cabinet-let government.
“Clearly a minority government requires a different approach. You’ve already seen some changes in personnel in No10 Downing Street. I welcome that, of course,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.
“It’s going to require a different approach, we’re going to see I hope more collective decision making in the Cabinet, I and other senior colleagues have made that clear to her.
“And I think you will also see that she will want to work much more closely with the parliamentary party, both in the conduct of business and in the development of policy.”
He added: “She absolutely understands that a minority government will require a different approach, a more collective approach and she’ll want to work very closely with the 1922 committee, with the backbenchers, not just on the conduct of business but also on the development of new policy.”
Watch his comments here:
When asked if he thought Mrs May should stay as Prime Minister, Mr Fallon said: “We have a duty now to form a government, to get on with the Brexit negotiations which start in a few days’ time, to continue the successful economic growth that we have.
"She is our elected leader and I think you’ll find the parliamentary party, when it meets in the early part of next week, the parliamentary party will rally behind her and give her support in what is now a different situation, a minority government but working in harness with the DUP.”
With the Tories seeking to strike a confidence and supply deal with the DUP, Mr Fallon said the party would be supporting the Conservatives on the “big security and economic issues” that face Britain.
When confronted with views expressed by senior members of the DUP on homosexuality and abortion law Mr Fallon said his party does not share the same views on social issues.
“We do not share their views on some of these social issues, and we don’t have to share their views and we’re not changing our policy on any of that,” he said of the DUP.
“They are going to support us on the very big Brexit, economic and security issues that face this country. It doesn’t mean we then have to go and agree with some of the stuff that you’ve read out.”
Mr Fallon also said that the Tories’ view of Brexit “hasn’t changed” in a clear signal that the Government is not planning on softening its stance on the UK’s EU exit.
It comes after Lord Heseltine, the former deputy prime minister, said the issue of Brexit was the “cancer gnawing away at the heart of the Conservative party”.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday the Tory peer today claimed the EU may offer the UK a better deal now following the election result, allowing it to stay tied with Brussels without having to accept free movement.