As it happenedended1542398464

Brexit - as it happened: Eurosceptic issues leadership challenge to Theresa May's cabinet as no-confidence vote intrigue grows

Fresh cabinet appointments include Amber Rudd as DWP secretary

Benjamin Kentish
Political Correspondent
Friday 16 November 2018 09:02
Theresa May tells LBC that the NHS 'will get an extra £394 million a week'

Theresa May faces another tough day as she battles to cling onto her job after a flurry of ministerial resignations and a growing campaign to unseat her by Conservative MPs unhappy about her Brexit deal.

As No 10 gears up for a potential vote of no confidence, government whips were recalled to Westminster from their constituencies.

Ms May began the morning with a 30-minute phone-in on LBC, where she insisted she would carry on as prime minister and defended the Brexit deal that has infuriated many of her MPs. She was speaking minutes after former culture secretary John Whittingdale became the latest to announce he had submitted a letter of no-confidence in her.

Having lost senior cabinet ministers Dominic Raab and Esther McVey, pressure on Ms May was heightened after leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg submitted his letter calling for a vote of no-confidence on Thursday afternoon.

A number of other Tory backbenchers publicly followed suit. If the number of letters hits 48 (15 per cent of the parliamentary party) Sir Graham Brady, who chairs the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, will automatically trigger a confidence vote in Ms May.

There is growing speculation of further cabinet resignations, with Michael Gove considering whether he should step down after apparently refusing to take the Brexit secretary job.

Mr Gove is believed to have demanded that Ms May’s draft agreement is renegotiated and for the 25 November summit with the EU to be cancelled.

Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, is also thought to be still considering quitting and met with Ms May yesterday to discuss.


Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of today's political events.

After a day of crisis in Theresa May's government we have another fascinating day ahead as pressure continues to mount on the prime minister. 

Keep your eyes peeled for further cabinet resignations as Tory backbenchers continue to hand in their letters demanding a no-confidence vote. 

Shehab.Khan16 November 2018 07:53

Former culture secretary, John Whittingdale, has sent his letter of no-confidence in Theresa May to the 1922 committee. 

Shehab.Khan16 November 2018 08:02

Theresa May will be kicking the day off with a phone in on LBC Radio at 8am, where she will be fielding questions from the general public.

Shehab.Khan16 November 2018 08:04

David Davis, the former Brexit Secretary, described Theresa May’s proposal as “dreadful” and said the EU was deliberately delaying the negotiations during an interview on BBC Radio 4 this morning.


Shehab.Khan16 November 2018 08:08

Simon Fraser, the former head of the foreign office, reacted angrily at Mr Davis's comments, describing him as a "terrible" Brexit secretary. 

Shehab.Khan16 November 2018 08:10

First call is from Daniel, a Tory councillor who says it is time for her to "respectfully" stand down in the national interest. 

Ms May says she recognises their are concerns about the backstop but to focus on the future relationship. 

She is also is asked if she still has the support of the DUP and if they will vote for her deal. 

Ms May says the DUP has raised concerns but claims she has their support. The prime minister does however fall short of saying the DUP will back her deal.

"When the vote comes back every member of parliament will decide how they vote," Ms May says. 

Shehab.Khan16 November 2018 08:12

When asked if the UK was stockpiling medicine, Theresa May says she understands the concerns because she is a type one diabetic and the insulin she uses is made in the European Union.


Shehab.Khan16 November 2018 08:16

A caller asks Ms May where the £350 million a week that was promised for the NHS has not materialised.

She says the figure was "not the one to focus on now" and then says the health service will get an extra £394 million a week.

Shehab.Khan16 November 2018 08:20

When quizzed if Boris Johnson was right to stand by the infamous Brexit bus, Ms May says the former foreign secretary was highlighting that leaving the EU would allow for more money to be diverted to the NHS.

Shehab.Khan16 November 2018 08:21

May is asked about her cricketing hero, Geoffrey Boycott, and whether she knows what happened in his last first-class innings.

She doesn't, but it turns out he was run out by someone on his own team, a Yorkshireman named Jim Love.

Asked if Michael Gove could be her Jim Love, she replies: "I think Michael Gove is Scottish."

Benjamin Kentish16 November 2018 08:24

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