Tory MP snubs invitation to watch England game in Number 10 in Brexit protest

Posted On: 
11th July 2018

A Conservative MP has snubbed an invitation from Theresa May to watch England's World Cup semi-final match in Downing Street in protest at her Brexit strategy.

England take on Croatia in the semi-final of the World Cup.
PA Images

Henry Smith said that because the Prime Minister "isn’t bringing Brexit home I’m concerned attending would be a bad omen for football coming home".

He then entered into an extraordinary public spat with Government chief whip Julian Smith, who suggested that he give the invitation to one of his constituents instead.

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The row was further evidence of the deep splits which have erupted in the Conservative Party after the Cabinet signed off on its Brexit approach at Chequers last Friday.

Since then, Mrs May has lost two Cabinet ministers, a junior minister, two parliamentary aides and two Tory vice-chairs.

Henry Smith, the MP for Crawley, posted an image of his invitation to watch the crunch England v Croatia match in Number 10 on his Twitter page, alongside his reasons for rejecting it.

Julian Smith quickly responded - but his Tory colleague snubbed him again.

The bizarre spat was not the only Conservative Brexit row to be played out on Twitter.

Former Tory MP Stewart Jackson, who was David Davis's chief of staff before he resigned as Brexit Secretary, accused Downing Street of preventing Mr Davis's successor, Dominic Raab, from keeping him on in the job.

He also launched an astonishing attack on Olly Robbins, the Prime Minister's top Brexit adviser, and Downing Street communications director Robbie Gibb.