'I'm not a quitter' - Theresa May faces down critics and vows to fight on

Posted On: 
31st January 2018

Theresa May has confronted suggestions she could be on the way out of Downing St by declaring "I am not a quitter".

Theresa May pictured after landing in China for an official visit
Credit: 
PA

The Prime Minister has been beset by rumblings of discontent from unhappy Tory backbenchers over the last few weeks, with repeated questions about her handling of Brexit and the lack of a clear focus from her government. 

PoliticsHome revealed last week how the Prime Minister's future was being openly discussed at Westminster, and that she could be challenged if her party suffers a bad night in May's local elections.

Former Brexit minister accuses Theresa May of trying to 'muddle through' to avoid Tory civil war

Over two thirds of Tory voters back Theresa May remaining Prime Minister

Theresa May ‘facing calls from Tory donors to stand down’

But last night she insisted she was in the job for the long haul. 

“I’ve said to you before, I‘m not a quitter and there is a long-term job to be done,” she told reporters on a trip to China. 

“That job is about getting the best Brexit deal, about ensuring that we take back control of our money, our laws, our borders, that we can sign trade deals around the rest of the world. But it is also about our domestic agenda.”

Mrs May would not be drawn on whether she would contest a no confidence vote from her own MPs, calling it a "hypothetical situation".

BREXIT PAPERS

She also played down the significance of leaked government documents which suggest the UK would be worse off economically under various different post-Brexit scenarios.

"It would be wrong to describe this as 'the Brexit impact assessment'," Mrs May said.

"There is analysis being done. This is very preliminary. What has been seen so far is a selective interpretation of a very preliminary analysis, which ministers have not signed off, have not approved, and which doesn't actually even look at the sort of deal that we want to deliver in terms of the future relationship with the European Union."

And she refused to bow to MPs' demands to publish the report, which was passed to Buzzfeed News on Monday evening. 

"When the time comes for Parliament to vote on the final deal, we will ensure that Parliament has the appropriate analysis on which to be fully informed, on which to base their judgement," she said.