The Conservative MP, who was behind the hotly-contested amendment in the House of Commons last night that wrestled control of Brexit negotiations from the Government, was briefly torpedoed into the Number 10 hot seat. But Mr Letwin and the British people calling for Theresa May to step down will unfortunately have their excitement short-lived. Mischievous users of online encyclopaedia Wikipedia briefly altered Mr Letwin profile page to state “he has served as as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since March 2019″.
A summary of his personal and political profile stated he assumed office yesterday and was “preceded” by Theresa May.
But the cheeky additional details have quickly been reverted back to its original form, erasing all mention of Mr Letwin taking over as Prime Minister.
Mrs May suffered yet more humiliation in the House of Commons last night when MPs voted in favour of Sir Oliver’s amendment by 239 votes to 302 – a majority of 27.
It is the latest major blow for the Prime Minister as the amendment victory enables them to take control of of the Parliamentary timetable on Wednesday.
This will see them participate in a number of ‘indicative votes’ to determine other ways forward on Brexit other than Mrs May’s much-criticised withdrawal agreement with the European Union.
Business Minister Richard Harrington, Health Minister Steve Brine and Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt all resigned to vote in favour of the amendment.
Thirty MPs in total rebelled against the Government to vote in favour of the amendment, including George Freeman, Dominic Grieve, Nicky Morgan, Damian Green and Justine Greening.
Commons Speaker John Bercow had earlier selected three of the seven amendments put forward by MPs as the latest round of Brexit debates began.
The cross-party amendment by Mr Letwin, Dominic Grieve and Hilary Benn, and signed by 109 MPs from all political parties, was seen as the most significant as it would allow Parliament to seize control of the agenda.
Ministers are due to cast these indicative votes on Wednesday, which could have a major influence on if, when and how Britain leaves the European Union.
The seven options are: revoke Article 50; a second referendum; Mrs May’s Brexit deal, a Canada-style free-trade agreement; a customs union; joining the single market and a no deal Brexit.
Shortly before the votes, Prime Minister Theresa May will face Tory MPs at a meeting of the backbench 1922 Committee as she battles to save her premiership and Brexit deal.
Mr Letwin’s amendment could also lead to a Parliamentary deadlock if a majority in the commons doesn’t back a solution.
Such a deadlock would increase the chances of a General Election being triggered as it could be the only way to progress with negotiations.
But Mrs May has been offered an olive branch by Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group.
The influential Eurosceptic backbencher, who has previously strongly opposed the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement, said “the choice seems to be Mrs May’s deal or no Brexit”.
The told the ConservativeHome podcast: “I have always thought that no deal is better than Mrs May’s deal, but Mrs May’s deal is better than not leaving at all.”
It is unclear whether Mrs May will bring her Brexit deal before Parliament for a third meaningful vote after yesterday admitting to MPs in the Commons it doesn’t have enough support to succeed yet.