Two people no-one has heard of resign from jobs no-one knew they had

Ben Bradley (l) and Maria Caulfield (r)

Two people nobody has ever heard of quit roles nobody even knew existed today in protest at Theresa May's Brexit plan.

Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield, who were apparently vice-chairs of the Conservative Party, resigned their posts because of their opposition to Theresa May's Chequers policy set out last week.

In her resignation letter to Mrs May, Ms Caulfield said: "I cannot support the direction of travel in the Brexit negotiations which, in my view, do not fully embrace the opportunities that Brexit can provide."

She warned: "The policy may assuage vested interests, but the voters will find out and their representatives will be found out. This policy will be bad for our country and bad for the party.

"The direct consequences of that will be Prime Minister Corbyn."

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The Lewes MP said that the proposed backstop arrangement for Northern Ireland is "neither necessary nor constructive" and will be "bad for our country and bad for the party".

Mr Bradley said in his resignation letter that the Chequers plan would damage the UK's opportunities to develop global trade and be "an outward-looking nation in control of our own destiny" following Brexit.

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"Being tied to EU regulations and the EU tying our hands when seeking to make new trade agreements will be the worst of all worlds," wrote the Mansfield MP.

"If we do not deliver Brexit in spirit as well as in name, then we are handing Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Number 10."

Conservative chairman Brandon Lewis said: "Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley have worked hard since the start of the year to promote women and young people on behalf of the Conservative Party.

"I wish them both well as they return to the backbenches to serve their constituents."

The resignations follow those of the better-known foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit secretary David Davis yesterday.

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