THERESA May is facing more unrest after two vice-chairs of the Conservative Party announced last night they were leaving their posts in protest over her Chequers Brexit compromise plan.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump joined the fray, by complimenting his “friend” Boris Johnson and describing the UK as being in “turmoil”.
The departures of Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley heaped more pressure on the Prime Minister a day after she managed to survive the resignations of foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit secretary David Davis.
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Amid the wave of uncertainty surrounding the Government, speculation mounted yesterday that Michael Gove was also on the point of quitting after he missed a planned engagement. However, the Environment Secretary later insisted he would not be leaving the Cabinet.
Fellow Brexiteer Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, was seen to shake his head and mouth the word “No” when reporters asked him on his way out of a Cabinet meeting whether he was about to quit.
May gathered her new team at 10 Downing Street as shockwaves continued to reverberate in Westminster following the first day since 1982 when two Cabinet ministers resigned within 24 hours.
Jeremy Hunt, appointed as the new Foreign Secretary as the Prime Minister carried out a hurried reshuffle of her top team, vowed that he would be “four square” behind her in driving through her Brexit plan.
And Gove told ITV News he was “absolutely not” planning to resign.
Asked whether May was in trouble following the rash of departures from her Government on Monday, the Environment Secretary replied: “No.”
He told reporters outside his London home: “I admire Boris and David very much and I’m sorry that they have left the Government, but ... I hope you have a lovely day.”
In a tweet clearly designed to show she was not being knocked off course, May said: “Productive Cabinet meeting this morning – looking ahead to a busy week. And sending our best wishes to @England for tomorrow!”
Trump also added to the sense of chaos surrounding the Government when he described the UK as being in “turmoil” and said it was “up to the people” whether or not May remains in power.
Speaking as he prepared to depart for a European trip during which he will meet the PM at the Nato summit in Brussels and then make his first visit to the UK as president, Trump insisted he got along with May “very well”.
But he suggested he might take time during his UK visit to speak with Johnson, who he described as “a friend of mine”.
Answering questions from reporters on the lawn of the White House as he and his wife Melania prepared to board the Marine One Presidential helicopter, Trump said that the UK “certainly has a lot of things going on”. He said: “It’s going to be an interesting time in the UK and an interesting time at Nato. We will work it out and all countries will be happy.
Read Full Article: Donald Trump heads for a UK in 'turmoil' as more Tories quit