Senior Brexiteers are calling for Theresa May to resign by June
Tim Shipman and Caroline Wheeler
March 10 2019, 7:30am,
The Sunday Times
Theresa May is battling to save her premiership this weekend as cabinet ministers warned she may have to fall on her sword to save Brexit.
In a final throw of the dice, Philip Hammond will offer Tory MPs a £20bn Brexit “bribe” this week to finally “end austerity” if they support the prime minister’s deal.
The chancellor will use his spring statement on the public finances on Wednesday to pledge to pump money into the police, schools and even some tax cuts in a spending review this autumn — but only if parliament votes for a deal.
This weekend May’s team was warned by senior Brexiteers that she would get her deal passed only if she offered to resign by June so a new prime minister could lead the second phase of negotiations.
In a sign that senior colleagues are abandoning her, one cabinet minister said: “I don’t believe there is a single one of us who thinks it’s a good idea for her to stay beyond June.” Another, previously loyal, added: “She’s run out of road.”
Senior figures revealed that:
■ May’s aides are considering persuading her to offer to resign as soon as the deal is passed in order to get MPs back on board.
■ Senior cabinet ministers have held private talks about whether they will have to visit May to tell her to go as early as this week.
■ A ministerial aide predicted that if Labour tabled another vote of no confidence in the government, “Tories will vote for it” in order to “bring her down”.
■ Allies of the four main contenders to succeed her — Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid, Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab — said they were “ready to go” and that “things could move quickly”.