Andrea Leadsom Resigns From Cabinet Over Government's Approach to Brexit

22 May 2019, 19:42 | Updated: 22 May 2019, 20:13

Andrea Leadsom
Andrea Leadsom. Picture: PA

The Leader of the House of Commons has resigned saying she no longer believes the government's approach will deliver Brexit.

The Tory MP said:"It is with great regret and a heavy heart that I have decided to resign from the Government."

In a letter to the Prime Minister Mrs Leadsom said: "I no longer believe that our approach will deliver on the referendum result."

Mrs Leadsom, a former Tory leadership candidate in 2016, outlined four reasons for her decision in her letter.

She said: "1. I do not believe that we will be a truly sovereign United Kingdom through the deal that is now proposed;

"2. I have always maintained that a second referendum would be dangerously divisive, and I do not support the Government willingly facilitating such a concession. It would also risk undermining our Union which is something I passionately want to see strengthened;

"3. There has been such a breakdown of government processes that recent Brexit-related legislative proposals have not been properly scrutinised or approved by Cabinet members;

"4. The tolerance to those in Cabinet who have advocated policies contrary to the Government's position has led to a complete breakdown of collective responsibility."

Explaining the timing of her decision to resign on the eve of polling day in the European elections, Mrs Leadsom said: "I considered carefully the timing of this decision, but I cannot fulfil my duty as Leader of the House tomorrow, to announce a Bill with new elements that I fundamentally oppose.

"I fully respect the integrity, resolution and determination that you have shown during your time as Prime Minister.

"No one has wanted you to succeed more than I have, but I do now urge you to make the right decisions in the interests of the country, this Government and our party."