Tory donor calls for Theresa May to be replaced by Michael Gove

Tory donor calls for Theresa May to be replaced by Michael Gove as hedge fund manager says PM has shown she cannot ‘carry Brexit through’

  • Theresa May facing increasing disquiet over her handling of Brexit negotiations
  • Tory donor Crispin Odey urges her to hand over to Leave backer Michael Gove
  • Talks with Brussels are at critical stage with fears of impasse over Irish border 

Hedge fund boss Crispin Odey said the PM could not make decisions and would not see Brexit through

Theresa May faces fresh Tory infighting today after a party donor demanded she quit because she is failing to ‘carry Brexit through’. 

Hedge fund boss Crispin Odey said Mrs May should be replaced by Michael Gove to see the country through negotiations with the EU. 

Meanwhile, former Cabinet minister Priti Patel accused the PM of ‘negativity’ as she raised doubts about her approach.

The pressure on Mrs May escalated as talks with Brussels reach a critical  stage – with a standoff over the Irish border threatening to throw the process into turmoil.  

Mr Odey told the Observer the Prime Minister could not make decisions and would not see Brexit through. 

He said Mr Gove – one of the architects of the Leave campaign – should take over at the head of a much bolder administration that was prepared to break EU rules before Brexit.

Mr Odey, who previously donated to Ukip before switching allegiance, said: ‘Michael has got lots of attributes that make him a non-traditional Tory. 

‘He is very aware that he has to appeal not just to the wealthy, but also more broadly.

‘I don’t think May can carry Brexit through any more.’ 

Mrs Patel told The House magazine that the Conservatives had become ‘lazy’ and she heard ‘too much relentless talking down’ of Britain’s economy.

Asked if having Remain supporters Mrs May and Chancellor Philip Hammond at the top of government was part of the problem, she said: ‘I have to say, originally I thought it wasn’t. But I think it’s fair to say that there’s something in that. There is absolutely something in that.

‘I actually resent the negativity.’

Talking about the wider Government, she added: ‘We are basically now at that two-year anniversary mark.

Theresa May (pictued with Jean-Claude Juncker as they struck a divorce deal in December) is facing mounting disquiet about her handling of the Brexit negotiations

‘Being bogged down in the minutiae is one thing. But moaning about Brexit in government and saying that it’s too difficult and talking down our country I think is actually quite shameful.’

However, she said that the party leadership should remain in place, adding: ‘They’ve got to deliver for the country. It’s non-negotiable.’ 

Yesterday International Trade Secretary Liam Fox admitted Cabinet ministers analysing one of the potential solutions to the Irish border problem had met just once in the month since they were given the task.

Nearly one in six voters think May should quit after Brexit 

Nearly six in 10 voters think Theresa May should quit after Brexit talks are completed, according to a poll.   

Research by Deltapoll found 56 per cent wanted her to stand down next March – although 59 per cent of Tory voters believe she should stay on.

Some 57 per cent fear the UK’s negotiating team are making a hash of the exit talks.  

However, the survey conducted for the Sun on Sunday suggests the public has no clear successor in mind. 

Boris Johnson is the most popular replacement, but only has backing from one in six voters.

The poll puts Labour neck and neck with the Tories on 41 per cent.

Deltapoll director Joe Twyman said: ‘The fact Boris tops the list with support from fewer than one in six Brits — and only one in five Tory voters — shows the trouble the Conservatives are in.’ 

The working group analysing the ‘customs partnership’ proposal that would see Britain continue to collect tariffs on behalf of the EU was waiting for a report to be finished and will meet for a second time next week, he told the BBC.

A second group is considering Leave-backers’ favoured technology-based ‘maximum facilitation’ – or ‘max fac’ – solution.

Brussels has already rejected both schemes, with chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier saying on Friday that neither was ‘operational or acceptable’.

The Government has been told by EU leaders and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that they want to see progress over the impasse on the Irish border by the time the European Council meets at the end of June.

Tanaiste Simon Coveney upped the ante yesterday telling the Irish Times the UK must produce ‘written proposals’ for the border within the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, civil servants have reportedly been drawing up scenarios for a ‘Doomsday Brexit’ that would leave the country short of medicine, fuel and food.

The Sunday Times said this included models for mild, severe and ‘Armageddon’ reactions to no-deal exits.

It quoted a source as saying that even the severe scenario saw the Port of Dover ‘collapse on day one’. 

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