Tory party split laid bare after May gets go-ahead to sack disloyal MPs
The divisions tearing apart the Conservative party have been laid bare as backbench MPs told the Prime Minister she has their backing to sack disloyal cabinet ministers.
Charles Walker, a vice-chairman of the influential Conservative backbench 1922 committee, said he and his colleagues would support Theresa May in firing ministers who were "focusing on their own personal ambitions" rather than getting on with their jobs.
He spoke out after sustained attacks on the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, who has been on the receiving end of a series of leaked conversations, which claimed he had displayed sexist attitudes and described public sector workers as "overpaid". One unnamed minister separately accused Hammond of trying to "fuck up" Brexit. May was yesterday forced to try and reassert her authority in a showdown cabinet meeting, where she spelt out that the rows being played out in public were undermining the Government. Warring Cabinet ministers agreed to stop briefing against each other after being read the riot act by Theresa May, a spokesman for No 10 said. There was "widespread agreement" that the leaking of damaging stories from the recent weekly meeting of the Cabinet had to end, Downing Street insisted.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said the "mood in the room" was that the Government was being damaged by the failure to keep its private discussions under wraps.
May laid bare her frustration by telling her Cabinet that some of its members had failed to take their responsibilities seriously. "There is a need to show strength and unity as a country and that starts around the Cabinet table," she said, her spokesman told reporters.
At the weekend, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond all-but admitted a report that he had told the Cabinet that public sector workers are "overpaid" – while denying he said "even a woman" can drive