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Jeremy Corbyn is waiting in the wings as David Davis’s resignation ignites chaos within the government

Jeremy Corbyn, David Davis and Theresa May Brexit resignation

On the evening of 8 July, Brexit secretary David Davis delivered a potentially knockout blow to Theresa May’s creaking government by resigning from his crucial role. One of his junior ministers then followed, with maybe more to come.

With a vote of no confidence looming, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is waiting in the wings.


Davis’s resignation letter was scathing in its analysis of May’s Brexit position:

Whether it is the progressive dilution of what I thought was a firm Chequers agreement In February on right to diverge, or the unnecessary delays of the start of the White Paper, or the presentation of a backstop proposal that omitted the strict conditions that I requested and believed that we had agreed, the general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one.

And as Politics Home reported:

He was swiftly followed out the door by Brexit minister Steve Baker – and Mr Davis’s former department had to deny a string of reports that Suella Braverman was preparing to follow suit.


Following the supposedly successful cabinet meeting at Chequers on 6 July, May seemed confident that her government was united behind a shared strategy:

Read on...

But Davis’s resignation has thrown the government into chaos, emboldening dissenting voices.

Backbench MP Marcus Fysh congratulated Davis:

And fellow backbencher Andrea Jenkyns expressed her delight at the raft of resignations:

Jenkyns told The Today Programme:

The time has come that we need a Brexiteer prime minister… somebody who clearly believes in Brexit and is ready [and] prepared to deliver what the people voted for…

Theresa May’s premiership is over.

Meanwhile, speculation is mounting that the big hitters are also sharpening their knives:

Waiting in the wings

Corbyn questioned May’s motives if she continues to cling on to power:

And Labour MP David Lammy can’t see a scenario where May can continue:

Letters of no confidence are piling up:

For once, even Piers Morgan may have got it right:

No confidence

The parliament website describes the consequences of “a motion of no confidence” in the government:

If such a motion is agreed to, and a new government with the support of a majority of MPs cannot be formed within a period of 14 calendar days, Parliament is dissolved and an early General Election is triggered.

If Tory MPs force May out, it’s highly unlikely that a new government would be formed in 14 days. The chasm-like ideological gap between remain and leave MPs and the need to keep the DUP onside would probably prove too tough a task for even the Conservative electoral machine.

If a general election is called, Corbyn is in a very strong position. As James Wright wrote in The Canary:

a new BMG poll shows that the majority of the public believe the government must go to the country if the sitting prime minister falls… Labour and the Conservatives were almost tied on voting intention in the BMG poll. But in 2017, Corbyn’s Labour went from over 20 points behind to almost winning, increasing the party’s vote share by more than at any point since 1945.

Whisper it: this may be the beginning of the end of Conservative rule.

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Featured image via GuardianNews/YouTube, GuardianNews/YouTube and LabourParty/YouTube.

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