Theresa May courts Tory backbenchers with 'prosecco and canapes' Chequers reception

Posted On: 
21st August 2017

Theresa May has held a series of "prosecco and canape" events with Tory MPs at her Chequers residence in a bid to shore up her leadership.

The front entrance to the Prime Minister's residence at Chequers in Buckinghamshire

The Times reports that as many as 100 MPs have attended the gatherings at the property in Buckinghamshire, with costs met by the Conservative party, rather than from public funds. 

Labour's Jon Trickett claimed that using Chequers for a party political event amounted to an "abuse" of the Prime Minister's privilege. 

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The paper reports that 1922 committee chair Graham Brady was among the guests, as were arch-Brexiteers Iain Duncan Smith and Bernard Jenkin. 

The Sun on Sunday reported that Mrs May had underlined her commitent to stay in office, despite her disastrous decision to hold a snap election, telling colleagues "there is a job to be done and I am determined to get on with it".

One MP who attended told the Mail on Sunday that the Prime Minister had "gone out of her way to be charming".

Mrs May has been under intense pressure from her Conservative colleagues since losing her majority on 8 June.

However, there is a growing belief that she will stay in Downing Street at least until Britain leaves the EU in April, 2019 - although she is not expected to lead the Tories into the next election, which is due in 2022.