Theresa May pleads for Tory unity as civil war erupts over her Brexit vision

Posted On: 
11th July 2018

Theresa May has called on Conservative MPs to back her Brexit strategy as all-out civil war threatens to erupt in the party.

Theresa May's Brexit vision has been criticised by Tory MPs.
PA Images

Furious Tories have been publicly attacking the Prime Minister and one another in the wake of the resignations from the Cabinet of David Davis and Boris Johnson.

Their walkouts came despite the fact they had both signed up to Mrs May's Brexit policy - which would seen the UK maintain close economic ties with Brussels - at Chequers last Friday.

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Backbencher Henry Smith revealed on Twitter that he had snubbed an invitation by Government chief whip Julian Smith to watch England's World Cup semi-final against Croatia in Number 10.

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

Former Tory MP Stewart Jackson, who was Mr Davis's chief of staff before he resigned as Brexit Secretary, accused Downing Street of preventing his 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.



Tory MP Simon Hart mocked his colleague Chris Green after he announced he was quitting as a parliamentary aide to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

Another row erupted when Priti Patel, who quit the Cabinet last year over secret meetings she had with Israeli officials, said Mrs May's Brexit plan was putting the prospect of a trade deal with America at risk.

That prompted pro-EU Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach to hit back by attacking President Trump's record on human rights.

A spokesman for Mrs May said it was now time for the party to come together.

He said: "The Prime Minister urges all of the Conservative party to get behind the plan the Cabinet agreed at Chequers."

On the resignations of Tory vice-chairs Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley in protest at the Prime Minister's Brexit stance, the spokesman said: "She thanks them for their service.

"She wants to re-iterate that she is getting on with the job of delivering the referendum result and we will be announcing their replacements in due course."