British Prime Minister Theresa May is currently facing an increasing amount of pressure. Amidst calls for her resignation, May has lost another senior member of her cabinet on Wednesday, May 22nd. The leader of the House of Commons and senior Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom, has quit her position over May’s new Brexit bill.
Leadsom was reportedly unhappy with some of the ten concessions May set out the day before, on Tuesday, May 21st. The tweaks to May’s original bill had been announced in a bid to win more support in Parliament, and achieve a majority to back May’s Withdrawal Agreement.
Leadsom publicly published her resignation letter on Twitter, and even though a replacement was announced quickly by May’s office, Leadsom’s words are still ringing in people’s ears.
In the letter addressed to May, Leadsom attacked the prime minister’s failure to lead Britain out of the EU, and hold her divided government together. She further alleged there had been "a complete breakdown of collective responsibility" in government.
According to AP, Leadsom campaigned to leave the EU in the referendum, and was a strongly pro-Brexit voice in Cabinet.
One of the concessions made by May in the newer version of the bill was the option for MPs to vote on whether they would like another referendum to take place. That offer in particular Leadsom said she could not agree with.
In her letter, which was published on Twitter, Leadsom said she had previously accepted “some uncomfortable compromises” over Brexit, but concluded she no longer believed “our approach will deliver on the referendum result.”
The BBC’s flagship current affairs Today radio programme also reported on Thursday May 23rd, that more British MPs could resign from May's government. "This programme has been told other ministers could soon follow," BBC Radio said.
As the successor for the position as the government's Leader of the House of Commons, May’s office has appointed treasury minister Mel Stride, who is a Member of Parliament for Central Devon, and a former financial secretary to the Treasury.
Stride will take on the senior role, which is primarily responsible for organising government business in parliament, Reuters reported.