Brexit: Theresa May under fire from Tories over talks with Labour

Prime Minister Theresa May came under fire at PMQs from her own MPs over her decision to hold Brexit talks with Labour
Prime Minister Theresa May came under fire at PMQs from her own MPs over her decision to hold Brexit talks with Labour
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Theresa May has come under intense pressure from her own MPs over her decision to invite Jeremy Corbyn for talks on breaking the Brexit deadlock.

The Prime Minister was challenged repeatedly by fellow Tories who reminded Mrs May that she had previously said the Labour leader was “not fit to govern”.

It came as Brexiteer Tories circulated a draft parliamentary motion calling for the Prime Minister and members of her cabinet to be censured and have their pay docked for not delivering Brexit on time.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, the cross-party talks set to begin on Wednesday afternoon were also criticised by the SNP, who said Mr Corbyn was about to step into a “trap”.

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"After two years of Brexit deadlock, intransigence and a seven-hour Cabinet meeting, the best the Prime Minister can do is invite the leader of the British Labour Party to become the co-owner of her Brexit failure,” SNP MP Stewart Hosie said.

"Let me ask her, had she been the leader of the opposition, and invited into a trap like this, would she have been foolish enough to accept?"

Mrs May said: "I think members of the public expect us to reach out and find a way through this. They want a solution.”

But she faced an onslaught from her own side that casts doubt over the Prime Minister’s ability to hold the Conservative Party together if she reaches a soft Brexit compromise with Mr Corbyn.

Former Brexit minister David Jones asked: "Does it remain the position of the Prime Minister that the leader of the opposition is not fit to govern?"

Mrs May replied that "I do not think the Labour Party should be in Government”, adding that after the Salisbury poison attack, Mr Corbyn "said he preferred to believe Vladimir Putin than our own security agencies".

Another Tory MP, Lee Rowley reminded the Prime Minister that last week she said "the biggest threat to our standing in the world, to our defence, and to our economy" was Mr Corbyn.

"In her judgment what now qualifies him for involvement in Brexit?" Mr Rowley asked.

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Mrs May replied that "every member of this House is involved in Brexit".

Tory MP Caroline Johnson said that “if it comes to the point when we have to balance the risk of a no-deal Brexit versus the risk of letting down the country and ushering in a Marxist, anti-Semite led government, what does [the Prime Minister] think, at that point, is the lowest risk?"

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford complained that his party had been left out of the process, despite having consistently "sought compromise".

Mrs May replied she was meeting Nicola Sturgeon and the First Minister of Wales later today.