No 10: PM COULD BE GONE BY WEDNESDAY
That’s No10’s stark warning to its own MPs ...as it predicts ‘Armageddon’ in wake of no conf idence vote
LABOUR is plotting to unseat Theresa May within days, Tory MPs have been warned.
Jeremy Corbyn could call a noconfidence motion as early as Wednesday if Conservative rebels force a Government defeat over Brexit the previous night.
The Opposition leader was last night readying for a fight at the ballot box by setting out his ‘vision’ for Britain under a Labour Government.
Labour strategists have pounced on No10’s warning to wavering Tories in marginal seats that they face ‘Armageddon’ if they vote down Mrs May’s deal with Brussels and their rebellion triggers a General Election.
If a no confidence vote is called on Wednesday, the DUP is threatening to join forces with Labour unless the Prime Minister is replaced by a Brexiteer such as Boris Johnson.
In an alternative scenario, proBrexit MPs have also been told that a no confidence vote could lead to leading Remainers such as Chancellor Philip Hammond joining forces with Labour to force the UK to stay in a customs union with Brussels.
However, the DUP denies that it would move against Mrs May; and many Tory MPs believe that Labour will hold off calling a vote of no confidence because it is equally divided over Brexit – and does not want to inherit the mess.
One DUP MP told The Mail on Sunday last night that they would not vote against Mrs May, saying: ‘I’ve told her so to her face. We just want her to go back to Brussels and sort this out as I am sure she can.’
Another senior DUP source insisted ‘the leader of the Conservative Party is a matter for the Conservative Party and we have all promised to back the Prime Minister in a confidence vote’.
But Labour added to the pressure last night by announcing that Mr Corbyn would unveil a new party political broadcast on Wednesday in which he would ‘spell out how Labour plans to unite and rebuild the country’ and ‘campaign on a growing view that austerity and inequality has created a country of haves and have-nots’.
The party also announced that it was hiring pollsters for the next Election ‘to test policies and the impact of campaigning in key marginals’ and had selected 100 candidates for the closest-fought seats.
Labour sources claimed that the most recent polling showed that the country has ‘moved economically to the Left’.
One said: ‘While the Government has been locked in bitter infighting and chaos over their botched Brexit negotiations, the needs of the country have been neglected. Tory austerity has left the majority of people worse off, creating a cost of living crisis and levels of poverty not seen since the 1930s.
‘Our Election campaign strategy will set out a positive vision of how we will make the country better, one of fairness and good public services, where we support each other.’
But Tory party chairman Brandon Lewis urged his MPs to fall into line to avoid letting Mr Corbyn into No10.
He told The Mail on Sunday that if Mrs May’s deal was rejected, ‘all that would be left is Parliament working to block a no-deal exit and, come March 29, no Brexit.
‘Voters would see that Parliament had the opportunity to deliver on the referendum and chose not to.
‘Jeremy Corbyn, a Brexiteer throughout his 30 years in Parliament, would choose the path of least resistance and could well end up trying to push through a Second Referendum at the behest of his party. That would be a gross betrayal of British democracy and of the referendum – the biggest democratic vote in our nation’s history. It would plunge the public’s trust in politicians to new lows and re-open divides across the country.
‘The clock is ticking. Tonight we will be just 48 hours away from this historic vote. We have 48 hours to deliver on the referendum result. We have 48 hours to save Brexit’.
Mr Lewis’s deputy, James Cleverly, also stoked rumours that the party is preparing for an Election campaign by taking aim at Lynton Crosby, the Australian election strategist who played a key consultancy role in Theresa May’s doomed 2017 Election.
Mr Cleverly said: ‘One of the decisions made after the 2017 Election was that we needed to have an inhouse Election-winning capability.
‘Lynton famously said that you can’t fatten a pig on market day. Which basically means if you’re not doing the hard work between Elections it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on a guru, they can’t turn around an Election if you’re not already on the road to winning it.’