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15.12 23 May 2019


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The British government has delayed publication of key Brexit legislation, as speculation mounts on Prime Minister Theresa May's future.

She had told MPs the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) would be published on Friday, but the government now plans to publish the legislation in the week commencing June 3rd.

There is speculation Mrs May could imminently announce her resignation, as she is due to hold a crunch meeting with the leader of Conservative Party backbenchers on Friday.

Anger among Conservative MPs at the terms of the bill, which puts the country's Brexit deal into law, has prompted renewed calls for Mrs May's departure.

Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom resigned from the UK cabinet on Wednesday, after telling Mrs May she could not support the bill.

Former Treasury minister Mel Stride will take on the role following Ms Leadsom's resignation.

Mrs May's official spokesman said: "The prime minister is listening to colleagues' concerns about the bill and will continue to."

1922 committee

While Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is among those ministers meeting Mrs May, he remained tight-lipped over what they would discuss.

Despite the speculation over her leadership, Mr Hunt insisted Mrs May would still be in place for the visit of US President Donald Trump to the UK on June 3rd.

He said: "Theresa May will be prime minister to welcome him and rightly so."

Meanwhile, asked if she could follow Ms Leadsom in quitting the cabinet, Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt told reporters on Thursday morning: "I've given my advice to Number 10 and today I'm going to be getting on with my job which is to keep the country safe and to look after our armed forces."

Mrs May has agreed to meet with Graham Brady, the chair of the Conservative Party's 1922 committee, on Friday where she will be expected to announce a specific timetable for her departure.

The executive of the 1922 committee, which arranges Conservative leadership contests, held a ballot on Wednesday on whether to change party rules to allow Mrs May to face another confidence vote among MPs, despite her having survived one last December.

The vote results will be held in sealed envelopes to be opened on Friday if Mrs May does not announce her departure date at her meeting with Mr Brady.


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1922 Committee Andrea Leadsom Brexit Bill Brexit Deal Conservative Party Graham Brady Mel Stride Penny Mordaunt Theresa May Withdrawal Agreement Bill

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