Saturday 15 December 2018

Three more ministers on the brink of resignation

British Environment Secretary Michael Gove arrives at 10 Downing Street, London, Britain, November 12, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
British Environment Secretary Michael Gove arrives at 10 Downing Street, London, Britain, November 12, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Steven Swinford

Leading Brexiteer Michael Gove was last night one of three ministers on the brink of quitting the cabinet after a day of turmoil for Theresa May.

Mr Gove told the UK prime minister he would accept a new role as Brexit secretary only if he could renegotiate her deal with Brussels.

In an extraordinary bid to keep Mr Gove, who is currently environment secretary, onside and bolster her authority, the British prime minister offered him the chance to succeed Dominic Raab, who quit the government yesterday.

Eight ministers and government aides quit yesterday, including Mr Raab and Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary.

Mr Gove is understood to harbour significant concerns that the role is a "poisoned chalice" and would force him to deliver a Brexit deal he did not believe in.

While Mr Gove was supportive of the deal in cabinet, in private he is understood to harbour significant concerns.

His resignation could prove to be potentially fatal to Mrs May and leave her with only a handful of Eurosceptics left in the cabinet.

Mr Gove is understood to have said he wanted to renegotiate the prime minister's Brexit deal and scrap an EU summit in November as his price for taking the role.

Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, was last night considering her position as she reiterated her demand that the cabinet should be given a free vote on the deal. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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