Theresa May will try to head off a threat to sack her as Prime Minister by making a public plea to Tory supporters to give her another chance.
She will make a grovelling apology at the Conservative Party Conference for the loss of the Government’s majority at the General Election.
News of Mrs May’s ‘mea culpa’ speech – live on TV in a Sunday confessional at the start of the rally in Manchester on October 1, and three days before her main speech – came as the Tories were rocked by more divisions.
News of Mrs May’s ‘mea culpa’ speech came as the Tories were rocked by more divisions
It emerged last night that:Former Minister and pro-EU Conservative MP Anna Soubry warned she could quit the party if Mrs May pursued a ‘hard Brexit’ stance;Pro-Brexit MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has reportedly let slip his own secret plan to succeed Mrs May;Chancellor Philip Hammond and Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson are said to be poised to back a leadership bid by fellow ‘soft Brexit’ supporter Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
Mrs May’s decision to beg the party faithful to forgive her for throwing away the party’s majority – and to let her stay in No 10 – is seen by MPs as a major gamble.
Her supporters say it will ‘clear the air’ and stop the conference being dominated by recriminations over the Election and plots against her.
‘She knows she has to say sorry very loudly and clearly to the tens of thousands of our supporters who did all the door-knocking in the Election,’ said one of her advisers.
‘She will say she feels the same pain as they do, say she has learned her lesson and is ready to change, take advice and be more open. She will ask them to trust her and stick with her through Brexit. She has to stop comments about her being robotic – it isn’t true.’
But critics fear the apology will only draw attention to her weakness.
The ploy is similar to Tony Blair’s ‘masochism strategy’ after the 2003 Iraq War, when he met relatives of Army casualties to defuse widespread criticism of his handling of the conflict.
Some Labour MPs believe it helped him win the 2005 Election.
Former Minister and pro-EU Conservative MP Anna Soubry warned she