As Theresa May clings on, senior Tories see a split looming

Written by David Singleton on 13 December 2018 in Diary

'I don’t see how we put the pieces of the jigsaw back together again after this.'

Theresa May has survived the confidence vote by 200 votes to 117. It means she is safe for another year, but Conservative MPs are not exactly bracing themselves for an outbreak of unity over the next 12 months. 

Rather, after a day of extraordinary blood-letting, many senior party figures now appear to think that a permanent split could be on the cards.

Speaking on the BBC this morning, Nicky Morgan suggested – or perhaps hoped? - that a few hardline Eurosceptics might now leave the party.

“I think there’s an inevitability that some of these people - the hardest Brexiteers - are going to walk,” said the former cabinet minister.

“There may be some sort of reconfiguration of parties on the right of the UK political spectrum and that may be something we are going to have to accept in order to get a Brexit deal through the House of Commons.”

In The Sun, Tory peer and former Brexit minister George Bridges had a similar thought:

“The Conservative Party has to answer a simple question: Does it want to remain a single party or split? There is deep division that is only getting worse.”

According to the Sun, a cabinet minister also thinks that a split is looming on the horizon. The anonymous secretary of state told them:

“I don’t see how we put the pieces of the jigsaw back together again after this. The blood is too bad, the polarities are too extreme. It is no longer a functioning party that anyone is able to lead, let alone Theresa.”

Meanwhile in The Times, a minister had an excellent summary of why the civil war is set to continue:

“It wasn’t enough so one wing of the party can drive a stake through the European Research Group and it’s not enough for the other wing to drive a stake through her heart.”




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