“I hope that we will have an opportunity during the course of the next few days to unite and to support the Prime Minister.”
WATCH: Not me, Guv 1) Lidington – “I don’t think I’ve any wish to take over from the Prime Minister”
“One thing that working closely with her does is cure you completely of any lingering shred of ambition to want to do that task.”
WATCH: Duncan Smith – The leadership must be chosen by Party members, not in a “stitch-up” by a “cabal”
“If the answer is a caretaker, whether Mr Lidington or anybody else, what the hell was the question?”
WATCH: We “take note” of people choosing to march, but “what matters is 17.4 million at the ballot box”, Barclay argues
The Brexit Secretary issues a polite reminder that “ultimately the way people express their will” is by voting, not protesting.
Trickett argues that there are other topics, like crime, which voters want to talk about too.
WATCH: Hammond – I’d rule out No Deal and No Brexit, but a second referendum “deserves to be considered”
“I’m not sure that there’s a majority in Parliament…but it’s a coherent proposition”, the Chancellor tells Sky News.
Profile: David Lidington – the Tory loyalist diverging from his leader over Brexit. And now tipped as her successor.
He is being touted as an interim Prime Minister – so we republish our profile of him from last December.
May should go in mid-April. But attempts to appoint a successor uncontested will only stir further chaos in the hen coop.
It would be dangerous for UK business and would leave both Leavers and Remainers dissatisfied. It would leave Britain subject to free movement.
My decades of experience suggest that the knowledge, experience, and will to combat this crisis is out there. We need to tap it.
The divisions and impatience exposed could well be real, but it doesn’t follow that Brussels is about to suddenly shift its policy.
If we can’t think of anything that’s going to do real good, maybe we could act like true Conservatives for once – and choose to do nothing at all?
I’m travelling around the country asking the public what their priorities really are. This review should be the People’s review.
Patrick Bishop’s biography of Airey Neave, who in 1975 showed how to run a successful leadership campaign.
The prisons minister decides to “be bold” and says that, if it comes to it, MPs should be free to express their genuine preferences on what’s next for Brexit.
If they reject the Withdrawal Agreement a third time, a deeply divided Opposition could yet get the credit for a soft departure.
The Conservatives gained a seat from an independent in Thurrock. Labour lost a seat to an independent in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Calling Conservatives: New public appointments announced. Chair of the Financial Reporting Council – and more
Further details enclosed.
She yesterday achieved the outcome most likely to prop her up – at least for the time being. But Cooper, Letwin and Bercow are waiting in the wings.
The Union and the Government have together kicked the can down the road again – this time with a two-pronged plan.
Leadsom seems to be the only one with lead in her pencil. All she needs now is to grow big fat hairy balls.
Sarah Ingham: Why the horror at holding European elections this spring? We should seek and embrace the opportunity.
Far better than a Second Referendum, the poll would offer a benign way of taking the country’s temperature.
The coup: Cabinet Ministers set to tell May it’s over
‘Theresa May was at the mercy of a full-blown cabinet coup last night as senior ministers moved to oust the prime minister and replace her with her deputy, David Lidington. In a frantic series of private telephone calls, senior ministers agreed the prime minister must announce she is standing down, warning that she has become a toxic and “erratic” figure whose judgment has “gone haywire”…The plotters plan to confront May at a cabinet meeting tomorrow and demand that she announces she is quitting. If she refuses, they will threaten mass resignations or publicly demand her head. Last night, the conspirators were locked in talks to try to reach a consensus deal on a new prime minister so there does not have to be a protracted leadership contest…One cabinet minister said: “The end is nigh. She won’t be prime minister in 10 days’ time.” A second said: “Her judgment has started to go haywire. You can’t be a member of the cabinet who just puts your head in the sand.”’ – Sunday Times
- How she lost Leavers, Remainers, the Whips, the ’22 and even Number 10 staff – Sunday Times
- And association chairmen – Sunday Telegraph
- EU leaders no longer have any faith in her either – Sunday Times
- Whip accuses the Prime Minister of betraying Brexit and destroying her Party – Mail on Sunday
- Johnson pressed her to pledge not to lead the Party into an election, but she would only repeat her 2022 promise – Mail on Sunday
- Downing Street eyes a third vote later this week – Mail on Sunday
- The Shadow Cabinet is set to clash in debate between second referendum and ultra-soft Brexit – The Observer
- Grieve faces confidence vote – The Sun on Sunday
Opinion and Editorial
- The Prime Minister can blame plenty of people, but ultimately this mess is her fault – Sunday Times Leader
- Any other leader would have faced the same impossible forces – Will Hutton, The Observer
- She’s got to go – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph
- Go now, and you might win the next vote – Nigel Evans, Mail on Sunday
- If you lose, go for No Deal – David Davis, Sunday Telegraph
- MPs were given an instruction by the people, but they have refused to follow it – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday
- There must be a backlash – Tony Parsons, The Sun on Sunday
- Our woeful leaders have belittled our country – Nick Cohen, The Observer
>Today: ToryDiary: Coronation (headless) chicken
Contender 1) Lidington
‘Pro-Remain Cabinet Ministers, led by Mr Hammond and Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, have been backing Cabinet Office Minister Mr Lidington to take over as temporary Prime Minister… On Friday evening, David Lidington, the pro-EU Cabinet Office boss and de facto deputy PM, was said to be in the ‘advanced stages’ of a plot to force Mrs May from office and herald a long Brexit extension as an interim leader who could build a cross-party Brexit deal…Cabinet sources have told The Mail on Sunday that Mr Lidington was initially ‘reluctant’ to step into the role of ‘caretaker’ but was told it would be a ‘four-month job with a three-pronged mandate: to negotiate a long extension, to oversee testing of what Parliament wants and to ensure a fair Tory leadership contest.’ A source said: ‘David is 60. It would be his last job in politics and what a way to go out. The key players are on board. It’s just a matter of when.’’ – Mail on Sunday
- Ministerial critics warn he would deliver a soft Brexit – The Observer
- His allies argue Brexiteers dislike that he knows the topic “inside out” – Mail on Sunday
- “It has to be her deal or no deal”, Cabinet minister says – Mail on Sunday
- Who is David Lidington? – Sunday Times
Contender 2) Gove
‘Those close to Gove have for months been mapping out a formal leadership bid and discussing policy ideas for his premiership, but he has kept this activity under wraps as he sought to rebuild a reputation for loyalty. The 51-year-old is the cabinet’s most senior Brexiteer and restored his status as a favourite to succeed May with a passionate 10-minute defence of her after Labour’s vote of no confidence in January. Mel Stride, a Treasury minister, has hosted dinners at his home in recent weeks during which he has made the case for Gove, gathering a cadre of supporters from different wings of the party should he decide to run…In a leadership contest he would seek to appeal to MPs who want a combative leader with a proven history of delivering complex and eye-catching policies. He would hope to win the votes of moderate Eurosceptics who appreciate his efforts to seek a pragmatic Brexit and senior figures on the Tory left such as Amber Rudd.’ – Sunday Times
- Whomsoever takes over would be a lame duck – The Sun on Sunday Says
- Her ghastly deal is the best hope – Liam Halligan, Sunday Telegraph
Contender 3) Hunt
‘Mr Hunt is believed to be backed by among others, Brexiteer Daniel Kawczynski and former chief whip Andrew Mitchell. Another Tory MP said: “He needs to get support across the board – he has got to be the healing hands that bring the wounded factions of the party – and the country – back together. And that’s no mean task.” The number of Tories being touted as possible leaders has grown as pressure increase on Mrs May. Former education minister Robert Halfon said: “It seems everyone including the owner of my cornershop is going to run. We’re going to be like the Ben-Hur movie – it will be a cast of thousands.”‘ – Sunday Express
- Or could Nicky Morgan take over? – Sunday Express
- The paralysis of Government is expected to harm Tory election prospects – Sunday Telegraph
- Royal College ‘considerably reassured’ about medicine supplies – Sunday Telegraph
Stuart: Leavers should hold their noses and back the deal
‘Many of us find ourselves brought to a position we would not and did not choose. The draft withdrawal agreement has many problems. It is the result of negotiations that were badly conceived and poorly led. The concessions secured at Strasbourg have improved the deal but it is a long way from ideal and a huge compromise on what many leave supporters will feel they were promised. ..It is not the deal we want but it is the only deal we have. This outcome was not inevitable, and the Tories must be held accountable for that by voters, many of whom will be feeling a deep sense of anger that we have been brought to this. But right now we have to make a decision. If I were still a Labour MP today, with the conditions set out above, I would hold my nose and vote for the withdrawal agreement.’ – Gisela Stuart, Sunday Times
- Vote for it, or end up stuck – Graham Brady, The Sun on Sunday
- Downing Street pins its hopes on Rees-Mogg – Mail on Sunday
- ‘Common Market 2.0’ would be nothing more than subservience – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
- May always does what Leavers want – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times
- Remainers claim a million attended their latest march – Sunday Times
- The marchers must be obeyed – The Observer Leader
- Pro-EU MPs draw up plans to revoke Article 50 – The Observer
- Osborne urges long delay – The Observer
- There must be another referendum – Phillip Lee, The Observer
- The Commons must seize control, but will MPs be realistic? – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer
>Today: Andrew Smith on Comment: Whatever indicative votes produce, let it not be Norway Plus Continue to all today’s Newslinks
The coup: Cabinet Ministers set to tell May it’s over ‘Theresa May was at the mercy of a full-blown cabinet… Read more »
Pressure grows on May to quit… “Theresa May was under pressure to name a date for her departure last night after… Read more »
EU leaders give May three weeks to come up with a plan if her deal isn’t passed… “European Union leaders… Read more »
Brexit 1) May’s broadcast attempts to rouse voters against MPs “Theresa May last night tried to turn voters’ anger on to… Read more »
Ticking clock 1) May will ask for a short Brexit extension, after Cabinet rebellion against a longer one ‘Theresa May… Read more »