May to resign?

Will the prime minister finally make a firm commitment to leaving?

The Times

Pull plug on Brexit talks with Labour, Theresa May urged

Theresa May was under pressure from cabinet ministers last night to scrap formal Brexit talks with Labour and launch a final attempt to secure a compromise in parliament.

Supporters of a deal with the European Union are preparing to use tomorrow's cabinet meeting to urge the prime minister to set a timetable for indicative votes by MPs after the European elections.

The move comes amid growing criticism from Conservatives of the talks, which are due to begin again today, as ministers who previously supported them lose faith.

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Will Theresa May set a date to resign?

By Joe Harker

On the subject of resignation prime minister Theresa May has said she'll go if a general election is called or her withdrawal agreement passes, though when those things might happen is anybody's guess.

May will go but it is the manner of her departure that is now in question. With Tory support collapsing and MPs not so subtly launching leadership bids to replace May that question is being asked louder and louder.

Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, said he expected a "clear understanding" of May's exit plans to be laid out in a meeting on Wednesday. He, his fellow Tory MPs and indeed much of the country would like May to set a definitive date for her departure.

The Claim:

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Daniel Hanann argues that the prime minister must step down as soon as possible if her party is going to survive.

The Tories face a drubbing in the upcoming European parliament elections. Having promised for so long that they would deliver Brexit by March 29, then either April 12 or May 22, the party was not expecting to contest them.

Months of insisting that the UK would be out of the EU and therefore not taking part in elections has caused many voters to think May has failed in her pledge to deliver Brexit. She has become the figurehead for this failure and the public are turning away from the party while she remains in charge.

The longer May leads the Tories the more votes they expect to lose to Nigel Farage's Brexit party and even when she resigns there is no guarantee they will all come back.

It has been clear since losing her majority during the 2017 general election that May would need to go at some point, that was almost two years ago and since then her party has run out of patience.

The Counter Claim:

May could still try and stay on to get her withdrawal agreement over the line by turning back towards her own party, reports The Times.

The prime minister's attempts to secure a cross party agreement with Labour are expected to fail, the opposition accusing the government of being unwilling to budge on a withdrawal agreement that has been defeated three times in the Commons.

By courting Labour support May has lost the backing of many Tory backbenchers, but she might be able to push a Brexit deal over the line by asking her party what they want and attempting to find some unanimity.

May has repeatedly asked Tory MPs to back her deal but there have never been enough that she could pass her withdrawal agreement. It is clear they don't want her deal.

However, the Tory party may now be so split as to be unable to find an agreement on a Brexit strategy that works. Many were enticed by the so called "Malthouse compromise", a plan not based in reality, and some have reached the point where they will accept nothing but a no deal Brexit.

The Facts:

The 1922 Committee consists of backbench Tory MPs and handles the affairs of the party. Votes of no confidence in the party leader are handled by the committee, which has become known for the "men in grey suits" telling a Tory leader it is time for them to step down rather than face a challenge.

May's own husband is now reportedly encouraging the prime minister to fashion her exit rather than try to cling to power for a while longer. Philip May has been described as the prime minister's "rock" who has at crucial moments encouraged her to stay in Downing Street, but even he now thinks Theresa's time is over.

Plenty of MPs have started unofficial leadership campaigns and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is the favourite to succeed May. Although he is considered a poor choice among many of his fellow MPs his support among party membership is strong. Dominic Raab, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt are also among the bookies favourites.

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