Ex-minister Steve Baker urges Tory MPs to send no-confidence letters in May saying Brexit is ‘certain to fail’ while she is party leader
- Eurosceptic Tory MPs have stepped up demands for no-confidence vote in PM
- Theresa May begins European tour in The Hague after humiliating climbdown
- Vote that was scheduled for today scrapped to avoid defeat by 100-plus votes
Theresa May is facing the growing threat of a Tory no-confidence vote today as a former minister warned Brexit is ‘certain to fail’ while she remains party leader.
Steve Baker urged colleagues to be ‘brave’ and send letters to the powerful Conservative 1922 committee that would start the process of evicting the PM.
He also insisted Mrs May should consider her own position after being forced to postpone a crunch Commons Brexit vote to avoid humiliating defeat.
The brutal attack from the former Brexit minister came as the tally of MPs confirmed as having sent no-confidence letters to 1922 chair Sir Graham Brady hit 28, with Crispin Blunt adding himself to the list.
Steve Baker urged colleagues to be ‘brave’ and send letters to the powerful Conservative 1922 committee that would start the process of evicting the PM
More are believed to have sent letters privately, but Sir Graham never talks about how many he has received.
When the figure reaches 48 a formal no-confidence vote of Tory MPs is triggered, in which Mrs May would need to gain majority support to survive.
The Conservative process is separate from a no-confidence vote in Parliament, where MPs of all political stripes take part.
The premier’s prospects suffered another hammer blow yesterday when she made the dramatic volte face on the Brexit vote.
Mr Baker and Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair of the European Research Group (ERG) bloc of Tory Eurosceptics, have been urging MPs to replace Mrs May for weeks.
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But despite a big push last month they embarrassingly failed to achieve the required level of support for a challenge.
Mr Rees-Mogg said yesterday that Mrs May must ‘govern or quit’.
And Mr Baker told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘Of course, we have all taken a bit of a bruising on this and it is a grave decision for every colleague to make.
‘But what I would say to my colleagues is: you now face the certainty of failure with Theresa May, you must be brave and make the right decision to change prime minister, and change prime minister now.’
Mrs May is on a frantic a last-ditch mission to salvage her Brexit deal today as the Tory civil war rages at home.
She is meeting Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte for breakfast in the Hague, before heading for crucial talks with Angela Merkel in Berlin.
Mrs May, pictured with Dutch PM Mark Rutte today, is on a frantic a last-ditch mission to salvage her Brexit deal today as the Tory civil war rages at home
She will then have discussions with Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels as they desperately try to find a way through the mounting crisis.
But senior Tories fear she will get ‘jack sh**’ out of the whirlwind tour, after the EU dismissed the idea of renegotiating the legal text of the package or the controversial Irish border backstop.
Mr Juncker warned this morning that ‘there is no room for renegotiation, but further clarifications are possible’.
Who has sent letters of no confidence in May?
Letters of no confidence in Theresa May are confidential – but some of her strongest critics have gone public.
If 48 letters are sent a vote is called.
This is who has definitely sent a letter:
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