ANGRY Cabinet ministers branded hardline Brexiteer MPs “the oldest swingers in town”, before also ambushing stunned Theresa May.
The under fire PM came close to losing control of her top table during an extraordinary meeting of the Cabinet as Brexit tensions spiralled.
The extraordinary Cabinet meeting saw a shocked Theresa May come under fire from many of her ministers[/caption]
Michael Gove led the savage assault on Tories — like Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson — still refusing to back her Brexit deal in a showdown Commons vote next Tuesday.
The Environment Secretary likened them to “50 year-olds at the end of the disco, who have turned down all other offers and are waiting for Scarlett Johansson to come along”.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd then chimed in to add: “On the theme of everyday sexism, Pierce Brosnan as well“.
Minutes later, Mrs May was herself plunged into a serious confrontation with some of her senior ministers as they demanded she comes up with a Plan B if her Brexit deal falls next Tuesday, as all now expect.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove attacked ministers who refused to back Mrs May’s Brexit deal[/caption]
Former Remain campaigner Ms Rudd lead the charge, saying the PM must “reach across the House” to find a consensus for a different form of Brexit.
Cabinet sources said Ms Rudd added: “More than ever we need to find the centre, and find a majority for what will be agreed”.
Ms Rudd also told the Cabinet that “history will take a dim view” of it if it presses ahead with no deal.
Justice Secretary David Gauke echoed her demand, calling for “an alternative” plan to be drawn up if the deal falls, along with Chancellor Philip Hammond.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd also waded into the Cabinet showdown[/caption]
But that opened up a deep division in the weekly No10 meeting, as others lead by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt insisted no deal should be pursued instead.
In more bad blood, Mr Hammond also ambushed Home Secretary Sajid Javid during the meeting to force him to admit that no deal would mean the UK would no longer be able to send back illegal immigrants to France.
Mr Javid had also spoken in favour of a no deal Brexit if Mrs May’s deal falls and the EU refuses to give any more concessions.
In a bid to regain her flagging authority at the end of the tempestuous meeting, the PM pleaded with the Cabinet to instead “focus” on getting her deal through the Commons next week.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt insisted no deal was preferable to a compromise[/caption]
Dubbing Mrs May as “fired up”, her allies in the room told The Sun she hit back at her feuding team to insist: “Everybody needs to be focussing on this deal, and how can we make sure we get the vote over the line”.
Mrs May also slammed a junior Tory minister’s suggestion on Monday of delaying Brexit, saying that would mean holding elections for British MEPs ibn May, which she dubbed as “ridiculous”.
The PM added: “Nigel Farage will be licking his lips”.
But sources also said she did acknowledge she would have to “swiftly” lay out the next steps if her deal is voted down and promised to make an immediate statement to the Commons.
Justice Secretary David Gauke also called for a plan B in the event of a no-deal Brexit[/caption]
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In another blow, Business Secretary Greg Clark openly contradicted the PM’s policy on no deal being better than a bad deal in the Commons.
The pro-Remain minister told MPs that a no-deal Brexit “should not be contemplated”.
A survey of all MPs by The UK in a Changing Europe think tank last night found that 70% of them now think Mrs May has done a poor job of negotiating Brexit.
More Conservative MPs think she has done a bad job than a good job, by 47% to 34%.
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