- Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty
- Former minister says she and others will resign unless May purges dozens of Brexiteers from the party.
- Anna Soubry says her party is being controlled by a small group of Brexit hardliners.
- She calls for them to be “slung out” by Theresa May.
- Soubry warns that Jacob Rees-Mogg will become prime minister.
LONDON – A leading anti-Brexit Conservative MP has threatened to resign unless dozens of the most hardline Brexit-backing MPs in her party are “slung” out by Theresa May.
Former Conservative minister Anna Soubry told BBC’s Newsnight that May’s government had now become totally “in hock to 35 hard ideological Brexiteers” on its backbenches.
“They’re not Tories. They’re not the Tory party that I joined 40 years ago and it is about time Theresa stood up to them and slung ’em out,” she said.
“They have taken down Major, they took down Cameron, two great leaders neither of whom stood up to them.”
Watch Anna Soubry call for a purge of Brexiteers
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) February 5, 2018
Soubry said she and others would resign en masse from the party, if May failed to stand up to its hardline Brexiteers.
“If it comes to it I am not going to stay in a party that has been taken over by the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson. They’re not proper Conservatives,” she said.
“Unless Theresa stands up and sees off these people she’s in real danger of losing huge swathes, not just of the parliamentary party, but the Conservative party…
“We simply cannot go on like this any longer… not only will we get Jacob Rees-Mogg as our prime minister, we will get a devastating hard Brexit”.
Soubry’s comments come amid rising tensions in the party over its handling of Brexit. May’s so-called “Brexit war Cabinet” will this week meet for a series of meetings designed to thrash out the government’s policy on leaving the EU.