Theresa May plans to remain in Number 10 until the Conservative conference this September after setting a new summer deadline to finish Brexit talks.
The prime minister was warned yesterday to pick a date for her departure as Tory leader before meeting with a senior backbencher, as fury over Brexit and local election failures spilled over into outright rebellion.
Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the influential 199 Committee, urged Mrs May to announce a detailed timetable for a departure before the Commons summer recess in July.
Yet, Downing Street suggested it had set a new deadline for the end of Brexit talks which would require Mrs May to remain in office for another four months, The Times reported.
Theresa May plans to remain in Number 10 until the Conservative conference this September after setting a new summer deadline to finish Brexit talks
Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the influential 199 Committee, urged Mrs May to announce a detailed timetable for a departure before the Commons summer recess in July
Charles Walker, the committee’s vice-chairman, lashed out at Tory rebels who refused to back the Prime Minister’s deal for the crisis.
‘We are playing fast and loose as a party at the moment,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One.
‘There are colleagues who have suggested the Prime Minister should go, the Prime Minister has said that she wants to leave early in her premiership, but she doesn’t want to leave this god almighty mess.
Charles Walker, Sir Graham’s deputy, made an attack on deal-blocking Brexiteers
‘I think there’s a blame displacement process going on within the Conservative Party at the moment, laying it all on her shoulders. We all need to take personal responsibility for the fact that we are still in the EU and that we are in government.’
He said the chances of the Tory party pulling back together and backing a Brexit deal were ‘pretty slim’ – about ‘one in five on a good day’.
He also suggested an agreement with Labour was unlikely: ‘I can’t see that it’s in the Labour Party’s interest to help the Conservative Party out at the moment.’
The delay will likely anger some Tory MPs ahead of the 1922 meeting this week where a plan to oust her is expected to be discussed.
She cannot face another Tory confidence vote until December but grassroots Tories will hold there own in Mrs May on June 15. It is not binding but if she loses it will be difficult for her to stay in power.
It comes after it was confirmed the UK cannot avoid holding costly Euro elections later this month.
Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, the de facto deputy prime minister, said that despite weeks of gruelling cross-party talks with Labour ministers there was now not enough time to get Brexit done and dusted before they take place on May 23.
Mrs May’s spokesman said: ‘The prime minister deeply regrets that we haven’t left the EU on time, which was by March 29, and that a consequence of that is that we will have to take part in the European elections.
‘She understands that many members of the public will feel great frustration at this.’
The Tories lost more than 1,300 council seats in last week’s local elections as it was deserted by voters over its handling of Brexit. The main way to prevent another electoral bloody nose was to get Brexit done so the election did not take place.