Theresa May has abandoned her plans to force MPs to vote on her “new Brexit deal” in the latest sign that she is preparing to quit Downing Street.
Tory MPs were told yesterday that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill would be put to a Commons vote on June 7.
That plan was abandoned today, however, following a mutiny within Mrs May’s cabinet over her offer to facilitate a second referendum in a last-ditch bid to win cross-party support.
Andrea Leadsom quit as leader of the House last night rather than press ahead with the introduction of the Bill she said included elements that were “not Brexit”.
Her stand-in, Mark Spencer, admitted that the government had not been able to bring in the legislation, although he claimed that it could yet be introduced the week after next.
In fact the retreat signals the end for Mrs May. Allies admit that she has “run out of road” after the cabinet refused to sign off a new compromise offer, including the highly controversial promise to legislate for another Brexit referendum if MPs voted for that.
She is expected to announce her departure from No 10 tomorrow. Last night she defied an attempt to force her from office, insisting that she would spend today campaigning in the European elections. Her allies believe, however, that she will declare that she is leaving after a meeting with Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee.