Theresa May under pressure to name departure date


LONDON: Prime Minister Theresa May is holding talks with senior Conservative MPs who are demanding she sets a date for her departure from Downing Street. The prime minister, under growing pressure from her own MPs to quit, is meeting the executive of the backbench 1922 Committee to discuss her future, BBC has reported.

Existing rules mean she cannot be formally challenged until December. Mrs May has said her departure depends on delivering Brexit, but her plan has been rejected by MPs three times. She will attempt to push her plans through the House of Commons again in the week beginning 3 June, when MPs will hold another vote on the withdrawal bill – needed to implement the Brexit deal the prime minister reached with the EU.

Asked whether she would resign if the bill was rejected a fourth time, Mrs May said it would “ensure that we deliver Brexit for the public”.

During the talks with the prime minister, the 1922 Committee’s executive is expected to press her to set out her departure timetable, regardless of whether Parliament backs her Brexit withdrawal agreement. Afterwards, the executive will hold another meeting where changes to the leadership rules could be discussed again.

Local Tory associations have confirmed they will hold a vote of confidence in her leadership on 15 June, although its result will not be binding.