Tearful Theresa May Meets the Men in Grey: The Inside Story
Please consider How the 'Men in Grey Suits' Called Time on Theresa May's Premiership.
The Conservative Party’s most powerful backbenchers had just made it clear that her premiership was at its end, but the Prime Minister pleaded with them to be given more time.
Tears welled in her eyes as she made her argument for just a little longer in Downing Street. She dabbed at her nose with a handkerchief. Yet the sympathy and patience of the 1922 Committee had run out. “She voiced her view about Brexit, which she regards as a debt of honour,” said one of those present. “She was emotional - a lot more emotional than I have ever seen her before.
Over the following hour, Mrs May and her backbenchers hammered out a deal which means she will sit down with Sir Graham and Brandon Lewis, the Tory party chairman, in the first week of June to agree the timetable for the election of her successor. In practical terms, it means that Mrs May must resign by the end of June to allow enough time for the leadership election to run its course before Parliament rises for the summer.
On Tuesday she tried to pull another trick out of her bag by announcing she would put the Withdrawal Agreement Bill - the legislation needed to allow Britain to leave the EU with a Brexit deal - to a vote in Parliament in the first week of June. Surely, she told the MPs, discussions on her future should wait until after then?
This time, however, the backbenchers would allow no more prevarication. Regardless of whether or not her Bill passes, a leadership election would need to be announced in time to get a new leader in place before the summer recess, which usually starts at the end of July. One of those present said Mrs May argued for more time, saying she did not want her departure to be linked to the defeat of the Bill, as it would give MPs an incentive to vote it down specifically to get rid of her.
There is no specific date, yet but Theresa May is history.
There will be another vote, the 4th actually, on her deal. Regardless of the outcome, May is expected to announce her resignation. If she doesn't she will be forced out.
No one expects the bill to pass, but stranger things have happened.
My personal preference is that it gets voted down unanimously. That's how bad a deal she negotiated.
4th Meaningful Vote
The 4th "meaningful vote", and this one will finally be meaningful, is slated for June 5.
Following the vote, May will “agree a timetable for the election of a new leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party”, according to a statement released by Sir Graham with her blessing.
From the finality of the sentence, it's implied that May will not allow addendums to the 4th effort. That's an important point, as she could otherwise keep trying.
Still, not everyone was satisfied. The former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith wrote that the agreement was “deeply unsatisfactory” because it was “vague” and lacked clarity.
Boris Johnson is on deck and will likely be the UK's next prime minister.
Meanwhile, there is still time for May and Jeremy Corbyn to agree to something.
Most suspect that will not happen because Johnson pledged to immediately throw any such agreement out the window.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock