Theresa May does public Q and A, is forced to answer: 'When did you choose to become a dictator?'

Question put to prime minister by Daily Express reader

Tim Wyatt
Thursday 06 December 2018 17:24
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Theresa May has been asked when she decided to “become a dictator” while answering questions on Brexit posed by readers of the Daily Express.

As part of her campaign to sell her deal with Brussels ahead of next week’s crunch House of Commons vote, the prime minister agreed to answer queries from the Eurosceptic newspaper’s readers.

After a string of questions on the referendum, free trade and immigration policy, the final inquiry the Daily Express put to Mrs May came from John Richardson, a reader in Fife.

He asked: “When did you choose to become a dictator?”

The embattled premier did not directly respond to the provocative question.

In her written reply, Ms May simply reiterated that her deal would “deliver on the will of the people – despite a line-up of powerful voices saying I should betray the referendum result”.

There was little sign in the rest of the Q&A – published on the Daily Express website – of the direction the questions would take.

Mr and Mrs Newman, from Berkshire, asked the PM why she was not walking away from a “bad deal”, as she had said she would when the negotiations began.

Mr Baker, from Coventry, wanted to know why Britain would still have to pay the £39n so-called “divorce bill” if the deal meant “we are still shackled to Europe”.

Charles Maddocks, from Somerset, wanted Mrs May to allay his fears that her agreement would see the UK’s armed forces fighting as a “federal service” of the EU.

Shortly after the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU was published Mrs May embarked on a campaign to rally public support, even as it became clear large numbers of her own MPs would not vote for it.

She has spent more than 12 hours speaking in debates in parliament and completed whirlwind tours of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

But her gruelling efforts have not yet swayed many Brexiteers, or even some Remainers.

The former Labour foreign secretary Margaret Beckett accused the PM of attempting to turn Britain into a “dictatorship”.

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Speaking on LBC, Ms Beckett said: “She hasn’t been willing to consult more widely, listen to anybody else.

“This is meant to be a democracy, and she’s trying to make it a dictatorship. It’s an enormous unprecedented mess.”

Ms Beckett’s comments were reported in depth by the Daily Express, under the headline “BREXIT BACKLASH: May accused of turning UK into ‘DICTATORSHIP’ with ‘unprecedented mess’”

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