Search icon


15th Nov 2018

Jacob Rees-Mogg submits letter of no confidence as pressure mounts on Theresa May

James Dawson

Four Tories resigned their position on Thursday morning as Theresa May continues to lose her grip on power

Jacob Rees-Mogg has called no confidence in Theresa May’s leadership hours after threatening the prime minister with a coup in the House of Commons.

The chairman of the influential European Research Group will become one of a number of backbench MPs to submit a no confidence letter to the 1922 committee, as it nears 48 threshold that would trigger a vote on position May’s position.

Submitting his letter Rees-Mogg wrote that he had previously spoken to the Conservative Party chief whip to say “it would now be in the interest of Party and the country if she were to resign”.

“Regrettably, the draft Withdrawal Agreement presented to Parliament today has turned out to be worse than anticipated and fails to meet the promises given to the nation by the prime minister, either on her own account or on behalf of us all in the Conservative Party,” he added.

It comes after Theresa May faced questions in the Commons today after announcing the draft agreement of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on Wednesday night.

Speaking to the PM in the Commons on Thursday morning, Rees-Mogg said: “My Right Honourable friend, and she is unquestionably honourable, said that we would leave the customs union. Annex 2 says otherwise.

“My Right Honourable friend said that she would maintain the integrity of the United Kingdom. A whole protocol says otherwise.

“As what my Right Honourable friend says, and what my Right Honourable friend does, no longer match. Should I write to my Right Honourable friend, the Right Honourable member for Altrincham and Sale West?”

In response, May told the backbench MP for North East Somerset that she has been “absolutely clear” there will be some “difficult choices” to be made on the draft exit deal.

She said: “Those choices have been made because I strongly and firmly believe it is important that we do ensure that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“But as I have said before, it is not only our intention but we will be working to ensure that our protocol does not need to be put in place.”

Shailesh Vera, Dominic Raab, Esther McVey and Suella Braverman have all deserted their positions as ministers this morning, with more expected as the day progresses.

A total of 48 Conservative Party’s members of parliament need to write a no confidence letter to the chairman of the party’s 1922 committee to trigger a Tory leadership contest.  Should a confidence vote be called, all serving MPs for the Conservative Party will be able to cast a vote either for or against May.

As the leader of the ERG, a majority of the 50+ members of the group are likely to follow Rees-Mogg in submitting no confidence letters.