Brexiteer Dominic Raab says Theresa May still has to be replaced despite confidence vote win
Dominic Raab has revealed he voted to depose Theresa May last night as he argued she still needs to stand down or risk ushering in a Labour government.
The former Cabinet minister said it was “very difficult to see how this Prime Minister can lead us forward” after she saw off a no-confidence challenge to her leadership.
Some 117 Tory MPs voted for Mrs May to be kicked out of Downing Street while 200 said she should be allowed to stay and at least deliver Brexit.
Pro-Brexit Tories have argued the PM should stand down - and Mr Raab this morning became the most senior figure to join their ranks.
“We will have to back her as best we can,” the former Brexit Secretary - hotly tipped as a contender to replace Mrs May - told the BBC.
“But the problem is that both in relation to Brexit and the wider sustainability of the Government, the given likelihood of any changes to the deal, given the likely scale of opposition, it looks very difficult to see how this Prime Minister can lead us forward.”
He told Sky News he did not support Mrs May in the ballot last night, and added: “My biggest fear now is that if she continues in place we have a greater risk of a Jeremy Corbyn government”.
Last night Jacob Rees-Mogg - chair of the hardcore European Research Group of Conservative Brexiteers - said Mrs May should follow “constitutional norms” and “go and see the Queen urgently”.
“She clearly doesn’t have the confidence of the Commons. She should make way for someone who does,” he added.
But Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt compared the Tory rebels to ants and said they will never be satisfied.
He tweeted: "They never, ever stop. Votes against them, letters going in late - nothing matters to ERG. After the apocalypse, all that will be left will be ants and Tory MPs complaining about Europe and their leader."
Tory MP Simon Hoare also blasted the plotters and took special aim at Mr Rees-Mogg, saying: “Losing with bad grace and churlishness and just being a bad sport is not what people expect.
“He’s orchestrated this with some of his colleagues, he’s got the ballot, we’ve had it, we’ve got the result.
“Let’s now stop moaning and picking away at things, let’s come back heal, unite and deliver.”
Despite keeping her job, the Prime Minister still faces an uphill struggle to secure any meaningful concessions from the EU on the so-called Irish backstop and then sell her Brexit deal to the Commons.