May Officially No Longer Conservative Party Leader

Theresa May has exchanged letters with the Vice Chairmen of the 1922 Committee confirming she is no longer the leader of the Conservative Party. She led the party from 11 July 2016 until this afternoon – a period of two years, ten months, and twenty seven days. Despite no longer leading her party, Theresa May remains as Prime Minister until a new party leader is in place – currently scheduled for 22nd July…

Read the 1922 Comittee Press Release here:

mdi-timer 7th June 2019 @ 3:22 pm 7th Jun 2019 @ 3:22 pm mdi-comment Comments
May Breaks Another Brexit Promise

Theresa May bought herself a stay of execution at the 1922 Committee last week after they agreed that she could have one last chance to try to get her deal through. May promised to bring the Withdrawal Agreement to the Commons the week commencing 3rd June before announcing her resignation timetable…

Andrea Leadsom’s stand-in Mark Spencer has revealed the Government’s parliamentary business for that week – predictably there’s no sign whatsoever of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. Spencer optimistically added that the Government might yet try to bring the WAB on Friday 7th June, the House isn’t even due to be sitting on that day. To be fair if she does announce her resignation timetable before then, as expected on Friday or Monday, it would render it pointless. Nonetheless it’s still a promise broken, how many more will she break before she finally leaves?

mdi-timer 23rd May 2019 @ 11:50 am 23rd May 2019 @ 11:50 am mdi-comment Comments
Fresh Plot to Oust May on the 1922 Committee Today

After Theresa May inexplicably gave the worst speech of her career two days before an election where the Tories were already set for a pasting, the mood has darkened so dramatically among the Tories that many have decided they cannot wait any longer to get her out. Dozens of Tory MPs who reluctantly backed her at MV3, including Boris and Dom Raab, have now publicly denounced her new “bold offer” including the promise of a vote on a second referendum and the numbers are still going up and up. 1922 Executive Committee member Nigel Evans will today move a fresh rule change motion before the committee. With the intention of removing the Prime Minister as soon as possible.

Executive Secretary Evans tells Guido that “I’ll move a rule change… it may even be forthwith… with immediate effect as a one off.” Guido hears the committee is more likely than ever before to accept a change in the rules that will shorten the protected time following a leadership no confidence vote from twelve months to six, or even the swift one off scenario, meaning May could be forced from out 12th June, or even as early as next week. Gove says the WAB itself will be published today – if the details are as ugly as expected it could be the final straw. If she goes before Monday she won’t even pass Gordon Brown’s tenure…

mdi-timer 22nd May 2019 @ 8:22 am 22nd May 2019 @ 8:22 am mdi-comment Comments
Tears at the ’22

The Sun’s political editor Tom Newton-Dunn reports that during the 1922 Executive meeting, at the point where Theresa May pleaded for more time, she was “very teary”. “Her eyes were very watery”, and she had to blow her nose. The waterworks act worked…

The PM agreed, and the Executive of the 1922 Committee issued this statement:

“The Prime Minister is determined to secure our departure from the European Union and is devoting her efforts to securing the 2nd Reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week commencing 3rd June 2019 and the passage of that Bill and the consequent departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union by the summer. We have agreed that she and I will meet following the Second Reading of the Bill to agree a timetable for the election of a new leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party.”

Originally the ’22 intended to tell her time was up and she had to set the exit process in motion with a fixed timetable. She now has 2 more weeks to reconcile the irreconcilable…

mdi-timer 16th May 2019 @ 3:49 pm 16th May 2019 @ 3:49 pm mdi-comment Comments
Where the 1922 Executive Stand on the Tory Leadership Rules

Guido understands that this is how the so-called “men in grey suits” – the 1922 Executive Committee – have been divided over whether to change the Conservative Party’s rules to allow Theresa May to be challenged with a fresh no confidence vote before December. It’s on a knife edge:

  • Pro-change (8): Bob Blackman (Secretary), Nigel Evans (Secretary), Geoffrey Clifton Brown (Treasurer), Bernard Jenkin, Pauline Latham, Sheryll Murray, William Wragg, Bill Wiggin
  • Anti-change (9): Cheryl Gillan (Vice-Chair), Charles Walker (Vice-Chair), Kemi Badenoch (Tory Party Vice-Chair), John Lamont, Jeremy Lefroy, Mark Pawsey, Antoinette Sandbach, Alec Shelbrooke (Tory Party Vice-Chair), John Stevenson
  • Abstain (1): Graham Brady (Chair)

The split is largely Leave-Remain, although three Leavers, 1922 Vice-Chairmen Cheryl Gillan and Charles Walker, and Kemi Badenoch, are currently opposing the change. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown previously opposed removing May but has publicly switched since. Crucially, Chairman Graham Brady – a Brexiteer – is on the fence, while others like Gillan are thought to be wavering…

As Guido reported earlier, Brexiteers are weighing up different strategic options to maximise the chances of successfully changing the party leadership. May has been granted a week’s reprieve to have one more attempt at getting a deal through. The Committee can’t stay on the fence forever when she fails again…

UPDATE: Guido understands that Kemi Badenoch is actually opposing any change, not abstaining as originally reported.

mdi-timer 9th May 2019 @ 4:42 pm 9th May 2019 @ 4:42 pm mdi-comment Comments
1922 Committee Ultimatum Shifts to Next Week

Yesterday’s 1922 Executive Committee meeting was touted as significant but members failed to decide to initiate moves against the Prime Minister this week. Brexiteer sources close to the committee, scarred from their experience in December, tell Guido that they are hesitant to rush into a leadership challenge again until they are sure they could win it.

One said that they want to wait to “inflict maximum pain” so more of the Parliamentary Party wakes up to the urgency of dislodging the Prime Minister. With another WA vote now seemingly taking place within the next two weeks, the European Elections, and the Peterborough by election on the horizon, a source told Guido that “it’s only going to get worse”…

The Prime Minister will meet the committee next week, likely on Tuesday or Wednesday where they hope she will present a more comprehensive exit plan than her current refrain of seeing the first phase of negotiations through. Some are more optimistic than others that this will materialise…

Meanwhile the balance of power on the committee appears to be shifting against the Prime Minister, with previous waverer Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown this morning definitively saying it’s time for May to go.

Other executive members Cheryl Gillan and Kemi Badenoch (who is also a party vice chair) are thought to still be on the fence. Guido looks forward to next week’s showdown…

mdi-timer 9th May 2019 @ 10:37 am 9th May 2019 @ 10:37 am mdi-comment Comments
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