UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has reportedly plotted with ministers to “remove” Theresa May early next year, according to the Telegraph. She would be ousted by April so others can “take over” and renegotiate her Brexit deal.
During a conference call, Cox allegedly told leading ministers: Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Sajid Javid, that they should “swallow” May’s Brexit deal, in the hope that a future leader will get a chance to “reset” the negotiations.
According to the Telegraph, three separate sources informed them of the call, in which Cox reportedly said May “would need to be removed for quarter one [April of next year] so we can take over the next stage.” It is claimed in the paper that Cox has made similar comments more than once before.
Cox allegedly made the comments during a conference call on November 11, just days before the crucial Cabinet meeting at which ministers signed off the PM’s deal.
A spokesperson for Cox refuted the story, “The attorney general firmly denies any suggestion that he called for the PM to be removed. This is completely untrue.”
The ministers, all of whom have reported leadership ambitions, have been avowedly loyal to the PM as she fought last week’s no-confidence vote, although the right-wing paper’s report suggests that May remains on borrowed time.
Cox’s alleged plotting suggests May will not be the one choosing when she goes.
The embattled-PM managed to win a no-confidence vote among Tory MPs – 200 to 117 – after vowing to step down as Conservative leader before the next general election.
Following the vote May traveled to Brussels, trying and failing to garner concessions from the bloc for her Brexit deal. The trip was only newsworthy for a conveniently filmed confrontation the PM had with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
Returning from Brussels empty-handed, and with a time-limit on her job, May’s Cabinet ministers have started openly talking about their leadership ambitions. Foreign Secretary Hunt appealed to the Tories right-wing indicating he would support a ‘managed no-deal Brexit’ as he admitted he wouldn’t mind a “crack” at the top job.
While Home Secretary Javid, and May’s supposed ally Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the House of Commons, are also reportedly preparing to succeed May. Cabinet members could face off against Brexiteers David Davis and Dominic Raab, and the increasingly irrelevant but always ambitious Boris Johnson.
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