They have allowed her a fourth and final attempt to win Commons backing for her Brexit deal at the beginning of June – but warned that if it is defeated yet again, MPs plan to change party rules to allow a fresh vote of confidence in her leadership. Mrs May told the executives that forcing her out of office before Brexit is secured could poison the forthcoming Tory leadership election. Sources at the meeting said she expressed frustration at how her Brexit plans had been repeatedly blocked by MPs, including dozens of Tory backbenchers.
Whatever the outcome of Mrs May’s Brexit vote, 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady will meet her soon afterwards to discuss her resignation plans.
He said in a statement: “The Prime Minister is determined to secure our departure from the European Union and is devoting her efforts to securing the second reading of theWithdrawal Agreement Bill in the week commencing June 3, 2019, and the passage of that Bill and the consequent departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union by the summer.”
In a TV interview, Sir Graham said: “I tried to make sure that all the views represented on the executive were expressed and we had a very frank exchange with the Prime Minister.”
Leave-backing Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said that the new prime minister needed to be “a Brexiteer who believes in Brexit and is willing to get us out on October 31 without a deal, if necessary”.
But Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage yesterday poured scorn on the 1922 Committee, describing the executives’ action as “gutless, useless and exactly what I expected”.