Politics update: May hints at new meaningful vote, Leadsom gears up for Tory leadership bid

May hints at new withdrawal bill vote amidst resignation row

Politics update 13.03.2019 Mays deal defeated second time

Theresa May has hinted that she will bring the EU withdrawal bill to the Commons before the European elections, whilst promising to meet the influential Conservative 1922 backbench committee, who are calling for the prime minister to set a date for her resignation.

Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, said May had agreed to meet him and the committee next week, but gave no indication whether the meeting would see May pressed to give a firm timetable for her departure, as many backbenchers have called for.

Brady said on Wednesday that he believed May would bring back the deal once more: “It is the intention to have a further vote, probably a second reading of the withdrawal agreement bill before the European elections take place and hopefully in the much nearer future than that,” he said. “That is my understanding.”

Mercer withdraws support for government over prosecution of veterans

Johnny Mercer

Conservative MP Johnny Mercer has withdrawn his support from the government over the historical prosecution of servicemen and women.

In a letter to Theresa May, Mercer called on the prime minister to end the “abhorrent process” of “elderly veterans being dragged back to Northern Ireland”, having previously called for legislation to stop this.

Mercer said  on Wednesday that he will now not vote for any government proposals that are not related to Brexit.

In his letter, Mercer said: “As you know, the historical prosecution of our servicemen and women is a matter that is personally offensive to me. “Many are my friends; and I am from their tribe.”

When asked on the BBC’s Today programme this morning, Mercer repeated the claim that he had “simply reported the facts” when he also claimed that the deputy chief whip attempted to blackmail him by investigating veterans and friends of Mercer to identify possible misdeeds.

Leadsom bids for May’s job

Andrea leadsom has stated she is “seriously considering” standing as Conservative leader when Theresa May resigns.

In another blow to May’s leadership in a week that has seen her hounded for a resignation date from the 1922 committee, Leadsom began openly campaigning to take her spot on Wednesday.

In a veiled reference to May’s failure to deliver Brexit, Leadsom said that a “determined Brexiteer” like her could have seen Britain out of the EU by now.

Asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain whether she was going for the top job after May resigns, Leadsom said: “I’ve supported her for the last three years to get Brexit over the line. “She has said she is going, so yes I am seriously considering standing.”

She added: “If you had a determined Brexiteer I suspect things might have been different, we might have been out by now on WTO terms, but on the other hand you would have left the country very divided.”

Pompeo: May would be ‘failing to act like Thatcher’ if she let Huawei construct UK’s 5G

Mike Pompeo has said that Theresa May would be failing to act like Margaret Thatcher if she let Chinese telecoms firm Huawei have a role in constructing the UK’s 5G infrastructure.

The US secretary of state said that the former prime minister would not “allow China to control the internet of the future”.

Speaking on Wednesday, Pompeo said: “Ask yourself: would the Iron Lady be silent when China violates the sovereignty of nations through corruption or coercion?”

“Would she welcome the Belt and Road Initiative without demanding absolute transparency and the highest standards? Would she allow China to control the internet of the future?”

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