Prime Minister could announce resignation on Friday after Leadsom departs cabinet
Speculation is mounting that prime minister Theresa May could announce her resignation as early as Friday 24 May, after Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom dramatically quit the cabinet on Wednesday.
Leadsom announced her resignation in a letter to the prime minister, declaring that she no longer believes the approach taken by May’s government can deliver Brexit.
The loss of the Commons leader is yet another setback for the prime minister, amid fierce backlash from Conservative MPs after announcing plans to take her EU Withdrawal Bill back to the Commons for a fourth time in early June.
Changes to the bill included the opportunity for MPs to vote on holding another referendum should it pass through Parliament, to the dismay of the cabinet.
May conceded in a responding letter that she was “sorry” to lose a figure of such “passion, drive and sincerity” in Leadsom, but was staunch in her self-defence of her latest move, penning that she “does not agree” with Leadsom’s assertion that “the deal negotiated with the EU means that the UK will not become a sovereign country”.
On Friday, the prime minister is scheduled to meet with Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, with the outcome likely to have serious ramifications for her future. Several cabinet ministers have already informed the BBC that May simply cannot remain in office, with one quoted to have said it is “the end of the line” for her.
A source within the 1922 Committee told The Guardian on Thursday that a vote had already taken place on whether to hold a new confidence vote that could force Theresa May out. The outcome of this vote will be revealed should May fail to leave her post by 10 June.