Theresa May has been told by a Brexiteer MP to quit before the European elections in a question during the latest Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.
Peter Bone stood up in the Commons to read out a letter from his local Conservatives, who he claimed he had been campaigning with at the weekend.
He said: “They say that her deal is worse than staying in the EU, that they want us to come out now on a no-deal basis, and third, more importantly, they’ve lost confidence in the prime minister and wish her to resign before the European elections.
“Prime minister, what message do you have to say to these loyal and dedicated Conservatives?”
To sound of jeers and oohs from the chamber, May thanked all party supporters for their work campaigning and fundraising, but said to those “concerned about delivering Brexit” her government “wants to deliver Brexit and has been working to deliver Brexit”.
She added: “Sadly so far, the House of Commons has not found a majority to do that.
“If everybody in the House of Commons had voted along with the government and the majority of Conservative members of parliament we would already have left the European Union.”
Theresa May also fielded questions from Brexiteers on a customs union, dismissing Labour’s request in talks that would lead to one.
Nigel Evans, the MP for Ribble Valley, asked: “Can the prime minster confirm that if we were to stay in a customs union and the single market, that we’d have to pay billions into the EU, that we couldn’t do free trade deals around the world and we couldn’t control our own immigration and that we will never betray the promise that we made at the last General Election that we will deliver the full Brexit unlike the broken promises from the party opposite?”
May replied: “I’m happy to confirm to him that we do indeed remain committed not just to delivering Brexit and securing a majority in this House to do just that, but I can reassure him on his specific points.
“In leaving the EU we will end free movement, restore full control over our immigration policy, open up new trading opportunities around the world and end the days of sending vast payments to the EU and we will not pay for market access.”
Elsewhere Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May clashed over in equality, avoiding discussing the Brexit issue.
Corbyn accused the government of being in the “pockets of a super-rich elite”, and claiming they must do more to end the “scandal of inequality in modern Britain”.
The Labour leader claimed poverty levels for children and pensioners are rising while the Conservative Party continues to receive millions of pounds from hedge fund tycoons.
But May argued the top 1% of earners in the country are paying more in income tax than under a Labour government, and she said the opposition’s £10 an hour minimum wage pledge for all workers could “cost” young people jobs.
She added Labour’s consideration of a universal basic income would also result in “handouts to hedge fund managers” being paid for by “tax hikes” on low-earning workers.
Viewers reacted with bemusement at the start of the session as Corbyn’s reference to the death of Doris Day in his announcements, led to backbenchers urging Labour leader to recite lyrics from the song The Deadwood Stage from the film Calamity Jane.
He responded: “Alright, whip-crack away!” before apologising for starting “a parliamentary sing-along”.
One tweeted: “I wouldn’t have had Jeremy Corbyn down as a Doris Day fan.”
There was something to laugh about, officials ran a fire alarm warning test in the middle of it.
As MPs prepared to evacuate the building, a recorded message on the tannoy announced: “May I have your attention please? The test is now complete.”
“The only sensible voice,” wrote a viewer.