'Seismic Shock': Veteran Tory Ann Widdecombe Defects to Farage's Brexit Party

'Seismic Shock': Veteran Tory Ann Widdecombe Defects to Farage's Brexit Party

However, there is growing discontent from MPs over her refusal to shift on her Brexit deal and the fact that she has engaged with Labour directly to resolve the crisis. We have a window of opportunity to bring about that change.

"Labour has always been clear that it respects the result of the referendum", wrote Lord Adonis.

Corbyn responded: "There has got to be a change".

"Bye bye Peoples Vote and Remain, hello soft Brexit".

On Monday, it emerged the PM could face an unprecedented vote of confidence in her leadership after 70 local Conservative association chiefs signed a petition in support of a poll.

The chair of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, said on Wednesday it would be "a surprising response" if Mrs May suggested she might stay on as late as December this year.

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The prime minister pledged to go if her Brexit deal was passed by parliament and announced previous year that she would not lead the party into the next General Election.

But it took two lengthy meetings before the executive rejected proposals to allow a vote as early as June, reportedly by a narrow margin of nine votes to seven.

A non-binding vote is expected to be held at the meeting, which would - if it showed a lack of confidence - put pressure on the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs to find a way of forcibly removing the PM from office.

He said the mood in the party "ranges from despondent to apoplectic" and that he personally believes the longer the prime minister stays in post "the more damage she's doing both to the party and to the country". "In remarks that betray the loss of obviously conservative figures away from the increasingly centrist Tory party, the former party leader said: "[Widdecombe is] incredibly popular among grassroots Conservatives and I also think she's pretty popular among the public...

The prime minister must pass the withdrawal agreement within three weeks or the United Kingdom will have to face European elections.

"We need to hear her response to that and colleagues will of course form their own judgment when they receive that response".

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