May’s govt the most divided ever: Labour
LONDON: Labour has accused Theresa May of leading “the most divided government ever” as it released a dossier claiming a third of Conservative MPS have publicly criticised either the government or a Tory colleague within the last year.
On the eve of the Conservatives’ annual conference, Labour said more than 100 Tory MPS have recently turned THEIR ire on A COLLEAGUE or on government policy.
The report said 80 per cent of the attacks were directed at May or her government, with 83 MPS having criticised one of the two.
The dossier was released as a number of senior Conservatives spoke out against May’s leadership and voiced fears about the prospects of the party.
Much of the criticism outlined in the Labour document relates to May’s Chequers plan for Brexit, which has been widely condemned by both Eurosceptics and Remain supporters on the Tory benches.
It has been called “unworkable” by Justine Greening, the pro-european former education secretary, while former Brexit minister Steve Baker said it could lead to a “catastrophic split” in the Conservative Party.
Mike Penning, previously seen as an ally of May, described the plan as “dead as a dodo,” and former cabinet minister Priti Patel said it would be “a disaster for our country.”
May is facing mounting pressure to ditch the proposals, which are also highly unpopular with Tory members and have been rejected by EU leaders.
Further evidence of division in the dossier include blue-on-blue attacks by Tory MPS on Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary who resigned in protest at the Chequers plan.
He has been called “the great charlatan” by the health select committee chair Sarah Wollaston, while Conservative grandee Ken Clarke said Johnson’s criticism was an “irrelevant nuisance.”
Another section focuses on divisions within the cabinet, particularly between senior Brexiteers and pro-eu ministers such as Philip Hammond, the chancellor.
Labour claimed the document showed the Conservatives are unable to deliver a good Brexit deal.
Andrew Gwynne, the shadow communities and local government secretary, said: “Riven by backbiting and plotting, this Tory government is the most divided government ever.”