Andrea Leadsom: Theresa May is the right Prime Minister 'at the moment'
Andrea Leadsom has said that Theresa May is the right Prime Minister “at the moment”.
The Commons Leader failed to give the Prime Minister her full-throated backing to carry on in the top job, despite calling on her Tory colleagues to vote for her Brexit deal.
Asked whether Mrs May was the right person to be leading the country, she told the BBC’s Today programme: “She certainly is at the moment. She certainly is.”
The Government is facing almost-certain defeat when its Brexit deal is voted on by MPs of 11 December.
But Ms Leadsom said the deal had been designed to provide assurances for both Remain and Leave-backing MPs.
She said: "Parliament is, as we’ve seen yesterday and in recent weeks, full of opposing views. People want different outcomes and the challenge that we have as Government is that we can’t please all of the people. We absolutely can’t.
"They each want, understandably, their own preferred outcome, and what the Government is seeking to do is to find a way that essentially delivers on the referendum that 17.4m people voted for to leave the EU, but at the same time provide protection for those who voted Remain with regards to maintaining a deep and very close relationship with our EU friends and neighbours."
But Ms Leadsom refused to be drawn on the Prime Minister’s future if she fails to get her Brexit deal through the Commons.
“I have never and will not start predicting the future,” she said. “The Prime Minister is determined to deliver on this deal…I don’t do predictions ever.”
She added: “It is really important that colleagues listen closely to what is in the Prime Minister’s deal because… just yesterday we had colleagues asking if we will be stuck in the Common Fisheries Policy, and the answer to that is no we won’t be.
“There are colleagues asking if we won’t be able to write free trade deals, and the answer to that is we will be able to write free trade deals, so there has been a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding of what has been in this deal, so I really hope colleagues will listen very closely over the next few days of debate.”
Meanwhile, Ms Leadsom told the programme that the full Brexit legal advice would be published at 11:30 today “with regret” after the Government was found to be in contempt of Parliament.
But she hit out at MPs who had voted against “decades, if not centuries of convention whereby the law offices advice to cabinet and to ministers are not even acknowledged let alone published.”
She added: “This is a very important breach that has taken place here…Going forward not only will government ministers be very careful about what they ask law officers to give advice on, but law officers will be very reluctant to give government advice that they might then see published on the frontpages of the newspapers.”