Top Tory backbencher Sir Graham Brady 'told Theresa May MPs want her to quit’ over Brexit

Posted On: 
22nd March 2019

Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the Conservative1922 committee, has reportedly told Theresa May that MPs want her to stand down over her handling of Brexit.

Graham Brady (centre) following December's vote of no-confidence in the PM
PA Images

The party’s most senior backbencher is said to have visited the Prime Minister at Downing Street on Monday, where he told her that the number of colleagues calling for her to go was growing.

The Daily Telegraph says the Altrincham and Sale West MP broke the news in a "neutral" manner after he was "bombarded with text messages" by Tories calling for her to be confronted.

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However the latest calls come amid anger from MPs on both sides of the Brexit split, with the paper saying Mrs May has faced growing and direct challenges to her authority over the past fortnight.

It adds that hours before the last meaningful vote on her deal – which was crushed by a margin of 149 votes – Mrs May was confronted by a group of 15 whips.

A source told the paper there was "a lot of anger," with one openly calling on her to go.

Meanwhile, Nigel Evans, executive secretary of the 1922 committee and a eurosceptic, is said to have told the Prime Minister on Wednesday: "It's not that people don't believe what you say, it's that people don't believe you can deliver."

Another Tory MP apparently told the Prime Minister at the meeting in her Parliamentary office: "If it goes to the next stage, there is a feeling that you shouldn't be part of it."

Sir Graham was thrown into the limelight as chair of the powerful committee last December when he received the required 48 letters from Tory MPs to trigger a no-confidence vote in Mrs May.

The vote, which was subsequently lost, means the party cannot bring forward the formal process to oust her from the role until the end of the year.

The Telegraph also reports that Mrs May sparked fresh fury following her late-night speech in Downing Street on Wednesday, in which she appeared to pin the blame for the Brexit delay on MPs.

Chief Whip Julian Smith is understood to have branded the comments "appalling” and warned it could alienate Labour MPs who might have backed her Brexit deal.

The PM is expected to press for a third vote on her agreement, if ministers believe they stand a chance of winning it, before 12 April - the new deadline set by the EU on which Britain is due to quit the bloc if it has not backed the deal.