Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

20.03 22 May 2019


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One of Theresa May's senior cabinet members has resigned from government, amid a growing backlash over the British prime minister's latest attempt to pass a Brexit deal.

Prominent pro-Brexit MP Andrea Leadsom - the leader of the House of Commons - said she was resigning from government with "great regret and a heavy heart".

In her letter to Theresa May, Mrs Leadsom said she no longer believes the government's Brexit approach will deliver on the 2016 referendum.

She said: "I fully respect the integrity, resolution and determination that you have shown during your time as prime minister.

"No one has wanted you to succeed more than I have, but I do now urge you to make the right decisions in the interests of the country, this government and our party."

Mrs Leadsom has been considered a possible contender in any Conservative party leadership contest if Mrs May steps down.

Yesterday, Mrs May put forward one last set of compromise proposals in a bid to get her withdrawal agreement through the House of Commons.

It included a pledge to allow MPs a vote on a second referendum if the agreement made it through parliament.

However, the proposals were swiftly rejected by opposition parties and many of her own MPs.

This evening, Mrs May survived an attempt by backbench Conservative MPs to oust her from power.

They decided not to change party rules to allow a vote of confidence in her.

She already survived a confidence vote in December, making her immune to a formal challenge for a year.

However, with mounting calls for her to step down, Mrs May will now meet Graham Brady - the chair of the backbench 1922 committee - on Friday.

European elections are being held in the UK tomorrow, likely granting the embattled prime minister a temporary reprieve.

However, Mrs May's expected to face increased pressure to either step down or give a clear timeline for her departure in the coming days.

Main image: Andrea Leadsom. Picture by: SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images

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