'Go now': Majority of Shropshire MPs urge Theresa May to resign
As the Prime Minister’s support begins to disintegrate over the Brexit deadlock, the majority of Shropshire's MPs have said it is now time for her to go.
Theresa May’s support has appeared to dissolve over the past 24 hours, after she faced a significant backlash to plans for a vote on what she branded a new Brexit deal.
Now party colleagues North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson, Telford MP Lucy Allan, Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard and Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies, have all said it is time for the Prime Minister to step down.
A number have also dismissed the suggestion of another vote on the withdrawal agreement.
Asked if there should be a coup to remove Mrs May, Mr Paterson said: “I very much hope so. I think this cannot go on. We need a new Prime Minister and a new cabinet.
“You are looking at a party sitting at seven per cent according to the Times YouGov poll this morning, which would mean zero MEPs and zero MPs.
“MPs are like people sitting in business class on a large comfortable old 747, drinking champagne, nice things to eat, chatting to friends, it is all very familiar, very cosy, bit of extra wind noise going past the window, and what’s happening actually is the engines are being turned off and we are heading to the ground.”
Mr Paterson said that unless we leave the EU by October 31 “at the latest” then the Conservatives or Labour will not be listened to on anything."
He added: “She has to go. She has managed to make a bad withdrawal agreement worse.”
Lucy Allan said that the next leader should be in place before the Summer recess in July.
She said: “The Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement bill should not be brought back to parliament and the Prime Minister should resign following the EU elections. The bill does not have support in parliament.
“The next leader of the party needs to have a clear plan for getting the UK out of the EU at the earliest opportunity and be given the chance to start work before the summer recess.”
Mark Pritchard said an orderly transition of leadership was now needed.
He said: “The Prime Minister has done her best in difficult circumstances and has shown great resilience and determination, but it now appears she has lost the confidence of the majority of the Conservative membership, and more widely, with most voters.
“She should now step down in a dignified way and allow an orderly transition to a new leader who I hope will bring some new dynamism and decisiveness across the whole of government.”
Glyn Davies, who has been a staunch support of the Prime Minister, said he now believed she must leave.
He said: “I think Theresa May has already said she would step down, the only question now is when and I have to admit my view is gradually changing in that I think she should probably step down sooner rather than later.
“The position at Westminster cannot go on. Today we are finishing. We have had the Prime Minister’s statement, and we are going home. The opposition have pulled their debate, the place is becoming a zombie parliament. We need a change and I am speaking as someone who is a huge fan of Theresa May, but we are reaching a stage where we have got to have a change.”
Mr Davies also dismissed the idea of holding another vote on the withdrawal agreement.
He said: “My own sense is there is not much point having the vote if it is not going to go through and if that is the case we are going to have to take some tough decisions and we should do that sooner rather than later.”
But Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski said he was not calling for the Prime Minister to resign at this stage.
However, he said he was very concerned that Brexit had still not been delivered, and said it was vital that hardline MPs on both side compromised so that a deal could be reached.
“I’m very concerned the extreme ideological zealots, both the extreme Brexiteers and the extreme Remain side who are absolutely determined not to make any compromises, will mean that the British people will not get what they voted for,” he said.
“They are playing footloose and fancy free with what people voted for, and I am concerned that this could lead to another referendum, which is something I would not want to inflict on the people of Shrewsbury.”
He said the arithmetic of the House of Commons had left Mrs May with little choice but to seek a compromise.
But he said continually rejecting her deal was simply forcing her to make more concessions to Remain-supporting MPs.
“We don’t have a majority, so we have got to get cross-party support. Many people in the Labour Party are refusing to support any compromise unless they get a second referendum,” he said.
“But what this means is that every time a deal is rejected, the one that is brought back will be worse."