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:

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?

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…

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…

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.

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…

May To Face Brady Ultimatum Today

It’s not just Labour-Tory talks that kick off again today. Guido hears that Graham Brady will meet with the Prime Minister today to in effect offer her an ultimatum, announce a timetable for her departure or his 1922 Executive Committee will change the rules to allow another confidence vote for the parliamentary party.

The 1922 Executive were finely balanced in terms of those who want to change the rules and those who don’t. Guido understands that two crucial MPs who were against a change in the rules two weeks ago could now swing the vote in favour of change: Cheryl Gillan, and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown. Sources close to the committee are adamant that their patience with May is running out…

Meanwhile grassroots Tory members will hold a non-binding no confidence vote in the Prime Minister on Saturday June 15, which is likely to go against her. ConservativeHome found that 82% of members want her gone as soon as possible. Tick tock…

Tory MPs Supporting Brexit Party, 1922 Rule Change Rumoured

Tory MP Lucy Allan is publicly recommending candidates for the rival Brexit Party. Andrea Jenkyns has also dropped hints that she too is supportive of the Brexit Party. Not much party discipline being shown…

Sources within the 1922 Committee suggest that there is a fair chance the executive will endorse a rule change tonight allowing a fresh challenge if a third of the parliamentary party indicates they will support it – effectively raising the threshold in terms of numbers of MPs required and removing the one challenge-a-year rule. Alternatively the 12 month challenge delay period could be reduced to six months – meaning the next leadership challenge would be on from June 3rd. There are no rules in politics…

There is also a likely National Convention meeting could take place at the end of May. If they voted to no confidence the PM whilst only symbolic it would be devastating.

Mark Francois Calls for Second Vote

ERG refusenik Mark Francois has written to Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee, calling for an “informal ‘Indicative Vote'” on Theresa May’s leadership of the Conservative Party. The rules say that formal votes initiated by letters to the 1922 Committee chairman can only take place once a year…

The letter, first published by BrexitCentral, doesn’t hold back, beginning with “Enough is enough! If she goes by Wednesday we can Leave on Friday.” It ends with “she said ‘I will continue to serve fior as long as you wish me to’, it is now time to test that wish.” Punchy…

May to Address Tory MPs Tonight

From: Government Chief Whip
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2019 2:53:33 PM (UTC+00:00) Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London
To: Government Chief Whip

Subject: Parliamentary Party Meeting today in the Boothroyd Room, 1900

Dear Colleague

There will be a Parliamentary Party Meeting with the Prime Minister today at 1900 in the Boothroyd Room.

The meeting will be chaired by Sir Graham Brady.

With best wishes

Julian

Rt Hon Julian Smith MP
Government Chief Whip

One last try…

Tory MP: Graham Brady Has 48 Letters

Conservative MP and ERG member Anne Marie Morris told Newsnight last night that she believes the 1922 Committee chairman has the required 48 letters from Conservative MPs in order to trigger a leadership contest. According to Morris, all it takes is for those Members who have handed in their letters to say that they can be used, and a contest begins.

“My belief… is that we do have the 48, and what depends on whether or not they can be used is whether or not those Members who have put them in give him the go ahead. He has them, but subject to [approval].”

Morris seems very confident in her assumption. Only time will tell…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Whips Ask MPs to Withdraw Letters as No.10 Fear They’re Approaching 48

There is a lot of talk among Tory MPs that Number 10 now fears the number of letters of no confidence in Theresa May is close to reaching the 48 threshold. Several MPs have told Guido this morning that Downing Street has signalled it believes the number is approaching 48. Over the last 24 hours whips have asked MPs who they believe may have submitted letters to Graham Brady to withdraw them or risk putting Corbyn in Number 10. Some Tory Brexiteers are cautioning colleagues against putting letters in now, telling them to wait until after the summer recess as they believe they have a better chance of removing May then, when it becomes clear further concessions to the EU are being planned. A senior ERG MP tells Guido:

“While this is about change of policy, it’s obvious now that this won’t happen unless we have a change of leader. The PM and No10 appear completely tone deaf and on too many occasions have treated Brexiteers with utter contempt. 

But if 48 letters go in now, Theresa may well win a vote of confidence. What most sensible Tory MPs are doing is waiting until we get back from recess after summer.

“If Theresa hasn’t dramatically changed this dismal excuse for an offer by then, and worse still, concedes even further to the EU, then the letters go in and she is finished. MPs in Brexit-voting seats know they will have seriously let their constituents down if they deliver BRINO while pretending it’s what people voted for. It’s shameful.”

May is in the danger zone…

Andrea Jenkyns: “100% Ready” to Trigger Tory Leadership Contest

As Andrea says, she is a blunt Northerner, Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns is ready to put her letter into Graham Brady if Theresa May crosses the Brexit red lines. She’s not the only one…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Customs Can Kicked Down Road at The ’22

No fireworks at the 1922 Committee tonight – instead, yet more fudge. A “very nervous looking” Theresa May grew in confidence as the meeting went on – this was no dramatic showdown. It emerged Nicky Morgan will put her name to a new amendment-in-lieu on the customs “arrangement” (an emergency compromise being drafted by Oliver Letwin), which will also carry the support of senior Brexiters.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Brady: Tory MPs Back May “At the Moment”

Graham Brady: “I think Theresa did a good thing last week in making it clear that she’s around for the long term and that she’s not about to cut and run.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

“I’ll Serve As Long As You Want Me” Humble May Tells ’22

“I got us into this mess, I’m going to get us out,” Theresa May told the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers tonight. In a performance described to Guido by MPs as “impressive” and “humble“, the PM showed contrition, repeatedly saying sorry for her election campaign and specifically apologising for the dementia tax.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

1922 Committee Nominations

1922

Brady, Walker, Gillan, Clifton-Brown, Blackman and Nigel Evans have all been returned unopposed, but there’s plenty still to play for. 12 committee places up for grabs, 14 nominations received:

1.   Steve Baker

2.  Sir Simon Burns

3.   David Burrowes

4.   Rehman Chishti

5.   […] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

5 Tory Leadership Candidates Confirmed

Stephen Crabb, Liam Fox, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom, and Theresa May. Game on…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Seen Elsewhere



Tip offs: 020 7193 4041
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Responding to Corbyn’s statement that the US should have arrested ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi, John Mann bluntly tweeted:

Baghdadi blew himself up with a suicide belt. An arrest might have been slightly difficult in these circumstances.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.