British Prime Minister Theresa Mays is set to meet with Remain Tory backbenchers in a bid to convince them that the party has a duty to carry out the wishes of the British people following the June referendum.
However, there is one senior politician who definitely will not be at the meeting. Former education secretary Nicky Morgan is understood to have been told she cannot attend after she commented on a pair of £995 leather trousers Mrs May chose to wear for a photo shoot. She said the outfit choice had been both “noted and discussed” by senior Conservatives.
Mrs May’s joint chief of staff Fiona Hill is understood to have sent a text message saying: “Don’t bring that woman to Downing Street again”. Mrs May is said to value solidarity and loyalty and will not tolerate those who criticise her. She is also not happy with MPs who are refusing to budge from a staunchly pro-EU line despite the Brexit decision earlier this year.
It is understood that a number of MPs, including Anna Soubry, Sir Nicholas Soames and Alistair Burt have been summoned to attend the meeting. Tory heavyweight Ken Clarke has said that he actually believes he and other Remain supports are doing Mrs May a favour by saying that their success depends on agreeing a policy and then explaining it.
He said that Ms Morgan and Ms Soubry were “women of principle”. However, the Remain backbenchers are also being compared to those who destabilised John Major’s government. Mr Clarke stopped short of criticising Mrs May for excluding Mrs Morgan from the meeting, describing the row as “low level stuff”.
The argument comes as it was announced that a new legal challenge to Brexit will be launched in Ireland after tens of thousands of pounds were raised in just two days.