Brexiteer ministers seek concessions from Theresa May as prime minister seeks to avoid further resignations

Michael Gove and Penny Mordaunt reported to be considering their positions as prime minister vows to fight on

Theresa May: 'Am I going to see this through – yes'

Brexiteer cabinet ministers are piling pressure on Theresa May to shift her stance or face losing more members of her top team.

Michael Gove, the environment secretary, and Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, are reported to have each made demands of the prime minister as she bids to keep them in her Cabinet.

The government was rocked on Wednesday morning when two Eurosceptic cabinet minsters, Dominic Raab and Esther McVey, quit and any further resignations would come as a major blow to Ms May as she battles to keep her job amid fury from Tory Eurosceptics.

Mr Gove, seen as one of the most senior Tory Brexiteers, would be a particularly damaging loss, and could trigger yet more resignations.

According to The Telegraph, Mr Gove is reportedly considering an offer to take over as Brexit secretary, succeeding Mr Raab.

The current environment minister is understood to be willing to move only if he is allowed to renegotiate Ms May's draft withdrawal agreement.

That would involve cancelling the 25 November summit at which the other EU member states are due to discuss the proposed deal.

Mr Gove could resign from the Cabinet if, as is likely, his demands are refused.

He was absent from the Commons on Wednesday and cancelled planned commitments due to personal reasons.

Ms Mordaunt, meanwhile, is understood to be demanding that MPs are given a free vote on the Brexit deal.

She is due to meet Ms May on Wednesday evening and will re-iterate the request, which she made at Cabinet meetings on both Monday and Wednesday.

The international development secretary is believed to have the support of a number of junior ministers and backbenchers, who believe the prime minister's deal is certain to be rejected and that a free vote is the only way of securing the stability of the Ms May’s government. They also believe it would dampen growing demands for a fresh Brexit referendum.

Under Ms Mordaunt's proposal, Tory MPs would not be whipped as to how to vote on the withdrawal agreement. It is unclear whether a similar arrangement would apply to Cabinet ministers.

Despite facing the threat of a leadership challenge after a number of Brexiteer MPs called for a no confidence vote, Ms May insisted she would continue as prime minister.

Speaking at a press conference in Downing Street, she said: "I believe with every fibre of my being that the course I have set out is the right one for our country and all our people."

She added: "Am I going to see this through? Yes."

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