Andrea Leadsom resigns from Theresa May’s government over her Brexit plans

Andrea Leadsom, a candidate to become the next Conservative Party leader and British prime minister, rules herself out of the leadership battle during a news conference in central London, Britain July 11, 2016.

caption
Andrea Leadsom, a candidate to become the next Conservative Party leader and British prime minister, rules herself out of the leadership battle during a news conference in central London, Britain July 11, 2016.
source
Reuters/Neil Hall

Andrea Leadsom has resigned as leader of the House of Commons in protest over Theresa May’s Brexit plans.

On Wednesday evening, the Conservative MP wrote to the Prime Minister to announce she was leaving the government over May’s plans, which would entail a second referendum on leaving the European Union.

“I have always maintained that a second referendum would be dangerously divisive, and I do not support the Government willingly facilitating such a concession,” she wrote in the letter, which she also shared on Twitter. “It would also risk undermining our Union which is something I passionately want to see strengthened.”

The resignation is yet another blow to May’s already-tenuous grasp on power, and comes amid growing calls from senior members of her government to abandon her Brexit plans.

The government’s chief whip told the Conservative party’s ruling executive committee on Wednesday that the prime minister would not quit despite an exodus in support for her over the past 24 hours.

The 1922 Committee’s chairman Graham Brady told Conservative MPs on Wednesday evening that he would meet with the prime minister again on Friday to discuss her future.

May’s authority has rapidly deteriorated since announcing plans on Tuesday to allow MPs to vote to hold a second referendum on Brexit.

The pledge – designed to win over pro-Remain MPs who oppose her Brexit deal in its current form – riled swathes of Conservative MPs and prompted multiple calls from formerly loyal Conservative members of parliament for her resignation.

Senior members of Theresa May’s Cabinet demanded urgent meetings with the prime minister on Wednesday afternoon amid intense speculation that she is on the brink of resigning.

At least four government ministers requested meetings with the embattled prime minister on Wednesday after Conservative MPs reacted furiously to her “new” Brexit deal, government sources told Business Insider.

This story is developing…