Tory hit squad trying to get last few letters to trigger no confidence vote in Theresa May TODAY
Brexiteers who want to oust the Prime Minister said today is the"moment of truth" and it's only a matter of time before she faces a crunch vote on her future.
Tory MP Anne Marie Morris, who has put in her own letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister, said there was "no question" that the magic 48 letters that are needed, would be reached this week.
She told BBC News that the Prime Minister is "not going to deliver Brexit".
Her colleague Simon Clarke told Radio 4 this morning that those unhappy in the PM should "stand up and be counted" today.
"Colleagues who have said they will act, I think now need to search their consciences and follow up on what they pledged to do," he urged.
"Time is running out to put in the steps to ensure we can succeed regardless of whether we get a deal or no deal with the EU," he added.
Andrew Bridgen, who has also put in a letter, told LBC he expected the total of 48 to be reached "by the end of the day".
Ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis said it sounded like "over 40" had been put in – but he wasn't one of them.
Many MPs have been taking soundings from other Conservatives in their constituencies before making a decision.
An extensive investigation by The Sun revealed that a total of 42 Tory MPs had given firm assurances that they had submitted letters saying they no longer support the PM – leaving them six short.
But Brexiteer Steve Baker said yesterday that 50 MPs had pledged to him they would write letters.
Yesterday Tory backbench chairman Sir Graham Brady insisted he had not had enough to trigger the vote yet – and predicted Mrs May would win any challenge.
Zac Goldsmith and Bill Cash yesterday took the total number who have publicly revealed they had sent a letter to 25, while a further 17 have privately admitted they have written to Sir Graham.
But former whip Andrew Mitchell warned against a contest – saying it would look as if "we are hunting the Prime Minister down as happened with Margaret Thatcher" which would do "damage in the eyes of the public".
As another day of chaos unfolded in Westminster:
- Boris Johnson blasted the PM's Brexit deal as an "appalling sell out" and revealed how he would save Brexit himself
- Two more ministers – Andrea Leadsom and Penny Mordaunt – are on the verge of quitting after Theresa May refused to renegotiate her agreement
- Michel Barnier admitted Britain could be locked into the EU until December 2022
- Jeremy Corbyn said the country had united behind hating Theresa May's deal
- And Britain is running out of space to stockpile frozen foods as businesses start to panic about a No Deal Brexit
Which MPs have written no confidence letters against Theresa May?
- Jacob Rees-Mogg
- Ben Bradley
- Steve Baker
- Nadine Dorries
- Andrew Bridgen
- Mark Francois
- Sheryll Murray
- Simon Clarke
- Andrea Jenkyns
- James Duddridge
- Anne Marie Morris
- Peter Bone
- Lee Rowley
- Philip Davies
- Henry Smith
- Martin Vickers
- Laurence Robertson
- John Whittingdale
- Maria Caulfield
- Adam Holloway
- Chris Green
- David Jones
- Marcus Fysh
- Zac Goldsmith
- Bill Cash
Today Mrs May will defy Tory rebels to press ahead with her Brexit deal.
She will tell the CBI conference later today that her deal will allow Britain to take back control of immigration – and bring an "end to free movement, once and for all".
And she will slap down those who are trying to renegotiate parts of her deal – insisting it's already done.
Mrs May is expected to say this morning: "The core elements of that deal are already in place. The Withdrawal Agreement has been agreed in full, subject of course to final agreement being reached on the future framework."
Business chiefs will today get behind the PM – warning rebels to back her or face the "wrecking ball" of a No Deal Brexit.
CBI President John Allan will beg Brexiteer rebels to talk to firms in their constituencies about the risk of sinking the PM’s agreement.
Mrs May was backed up this morning by the former President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, who told the BBC there was very little prospect of changing the Brexit deal at this late stage – and it was basically a "take it or leave it" deal.
What happens next if there is a no confidence vote in Theresa May?
IF Tory backbench chairman Graham Brady announces that there's been 48 letters sent to him expressing no confidence in Theresa May as Prime Minister, she faces a battle to hold on to her job.
MPs would in the coming days face a crunch vote in whether or not Mrs May should stay in No10, and as party leader.
All 316 Tories would then need to cast their vote in a secret ballot in whether they have confidence in her or not.
If one comes, it could take place as early as Monday.
If she wins, she stays in power as Prime Minister, and rebels can't try and boot her out for another year.
But if she loses, then a Tory leadership campaign is automatically started.
She will stay as Prime Minister until a new leader is appointed.
But during that time MPs would nominate each other to replace her. After a few rounds of voting, the numbers will be whittled down to two.
Those two will go to the Tory members to fight for their votes, in a campaign that can last several weeks.
Whoever wins that vote will become the next Tory leader and Prime Minister.
Jeremy Corbyn will also address the CBI conference later this afternoon.
This morning he used an article in the Daily Mirror to say Mrs May had got the country to unite around hating her Brexit deal – and insisted that Labour would vote against it.
"Theresa May must now go back to Brussels and negotiate a better deal," he said.
But yesterday the leftie boss admitted he hadn't even read all of the 600-page agreement yet.
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