The former Work and Pensions Secretary resigned in protest at Mrs May’s Brexit deal, but still has her eyes on the Cabinet. Speaking about throwing her hat into the ring of the next Tory leadership contest, she told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “If people felt I could and they wanted to back me I would”. And, openly calling for the Prime Minister’s resignation, the MP for Tatton said she will back Mrs May’s Brexit deal during the third meaningful vote in four months if she promises to stand down by the summer.
She told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics: “I think that what is best for her is, really only she knows, but what I do know is we as a party want to be able to thank her.
“She needs a dignified departure so however that works best for her for all of the reasons I’ve said.
“She’s done so much to try and get this through, even though we’re not on the same side of the argument, we are Tories.”
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Mrs McVey’s believes the time is mature for Mrs May to leave because her hold on power is “very dubious”.
She told Sophy Ridge: “She has got to look at the fact – when collective responsibility collapses like that, who is the voice of government?
“The government should only have one voice so the country knows what we stand for, so the world knows what we stand for.”
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Mrs McVey is not the only Tory MP thinking Mrs May could trade her deal for the leadership of the party.
Tory Andrew Bridgen told The Sunday Times that he was informed by party whips that the Prime Minister was willing to announce her resignation to get her withdrawal agreement approved – but Downing Street has denied the claim.
The deal is expected to be put for the third time to Parliament within days, before EU leaders gather on March 21 and 22 to discuss Brexit.
During their meeting, if MPs reject again the withdrawal agreement struck in November by Mrs May and Brussels, the EU37 will have to discuss whether or not to concede an extension to Article 50 to the UK, as asked by Parliament with a vote held last Thursday.