More trouble ahead for May and Corbyn
The leaders of the two main parties have been subjected to further political pressure as attention returns to the Brexit impasse with the resumption of Parliament after the Easter break.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn fended off a mini rebellion from members of his shadow cabinet, including Deputy Leader Tom Watson, over the party’s stance on the terms of any second Brexit referendum. Ahead of European elections which the UK are likely to contest this month, the party was reportedly preparing election literature which had no reference to a second referendum and suggesting that the party would push ahead with delivering Brexit albeit in a different form.
The revelation sparked fury among leading Labour party MPs including Keir Starmer, Hilary Benn, Emily Thornberry and Tom Watson. In response to the pressure the National Executive of the Labour Party, which is heavily supportive of the leader, decided to include the option of a referendum. However, the Party’s leadership rejected calls by Deputy Leader Tom Watson to campaign for a referendum in all circumstances.
Prime Minister May also received a further headache this week as Conservative constituency organisations garnered enough support to reach the threshold to trigger an emergency vote on her future. The vote marks the first time in the party’s 185-year history that local conservative associations have used an emergency meeting of the National Conservative Convention to deliberate on a party leader’s position. The move by grassroots members follows calls from the backbench committee of Conservative MPs for the Prime Minister to set out a clearer timetable for her departure. As results from this week’s local elections in England and Northern Ireland continue to flow in today and with the potential surge in support for Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party in a European election, it’s unlikely the Prime Minister will be putting her feet up anytime soon.