Without irory Brexiteer Mark Francois has called for a second vote on Theresa May’s leadership, prompting amusement from People’s Vote campaigners.
Francois said he believed that the prime minister should resign for the sake of ‘the existential future of our party and the destiny of our country’, but he said if she would not, then a vote would send a signal to leaders of the remaining 27 EU states that they should not grant May the delay to Brexit she is requesting at a Brussels summit that evening.
In a letter to the chair of the backbench Tory 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady, published on the Brexit Central website, he asked for an ‘indicative vote of confidence’ to be held before the European Council meets.
A formal vote of confidence in May as Conservative leader cannot be held until December, after she survived an earlier attempt to oust her by 200 Francois wrote: ‘We simply cannot go on like this, with a weak leader, a riven cabinet and a party in despair.
‘I believe Theresa May has been a failure as leader of our party, which she now threatens to destroy. Hers is a classic example of hubris – and after hubris comes nemesis.’
Francois, who is deputy chair of the European Research Group of Brexiteer Tories, said that it was ‘literally incredible’ that May was discussing a possible compromise Brexit deal with Jeremy Corbyn and that she was contemplating European Parliament elections in which Tory candidates would be ‘slaughtered’.
‘We are living in a world gone mad,’ he said. ‘A Conservative prime minister, who voted Remain, egged on by a coterie of neo-federalist civil servants and a powerful Remainiac cabal in the cabinet, has tried – and failed three times – to pass a draft treaty through the House of Commons which would lock us into a customs union forever.’
Unless MPs act, the UK risks ‘being forced into a customs union with Labour support, which is completely at variance with the manifesto on which we were elected’, he warned.
Francois has been a vocal critic of a People’s Vote, or a second referendum, declaring that the ‘will of the people’ in the original vote ‘had to triumph.’
Best for Britain’s Layla Moran said: ‘Mark Francois has a point for once: how can a decision made prior to the full picture being revealed be binding when its consequences are so large?
‘It’s just a shame that Francois seems to want one thing for himself, while making it his job to prevent the same opportunity being extended to the public.
‘Any decision on something as big as Brexit needs to scrutinised by the people. Whatever deal can be agreed on by politicians needs to have the public’s sign off.’