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tv   BBC News at Nine  BBC News  May 24, 2019 9:00am-10:01am BST

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you're watching bbc news at 9:003m with me, ben brown, in downing street — where the prime minister is expected to make an announcement this morning about her future. our headlines... heading for a brexit exit — speculation grows that theresa may will announce a date for her resignation today, after a backlash by her own mps against her latest brexit plan. it's thought in the next few minutes you will meet the head of her pa rty‘s you will meet the head of her party's backbench you will meet the head of her pa rty‘s backbench mps you will meet the head of her party's backbench mps to discuss her exit plans. the 10th june is widely expected to be the start of the leadership contest. borisjohnson, esther mcvey and rory stewart have all already
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announced they will run, but senior conservatives are insisting anything could happen. all kinds of things could happen. the favourite doesn't usually win — that is, the person expected to win hasn't won one of these for a very long time. a 10thjune timetable would mean theresa may will still be prime minister for donald trump's state visit in earlyjune. yesterday the foreign secretary insisted mrs may would be the one to welcome the us president. i'm annita mcveigh with today's other main stories. us officials file 17 new charges against wikileaks founderjulian assange, as he continues to fight extradition. a sharp rise in cases of mumps as doctors urge people to make sure they're vaccinated.
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good morning from downing street. theresa may could be about to reveal a timetable for her departure after almost three years as prime minister. she's meeting the head of her party's backbench mps just about now to discuss her plans. that meeting with sir graham brady, who is expected in the next few minutes to meet with the prime minister. it's expected that the contest to find a new conservative leader could start in a fortnight‘s time. the pressure on the prime minister has intensified amid anger about her latest brexit plans. so what happens next? as we've said, theresa may is currently expecting to meet sir graham brady, the chair
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of the 1922 committee of backbench mps, to discuss herfuture. and a timetable for her departure. the prime minister could then give a statement from downing street announcing her departure date. if she does resign, she probably won't step down straight away and will still host president trump during his state visit injune. the 10thjune could then mark the start of a conservative leadership contest to select her successor. and that meansjuly could be the earliest we see a new prime minister in number 10. that's what we are expecting to see. with me to discuss this more is our assistant political editor norman smith. we think she will meet sir graham brady in the next few minutes. if you were a fly on the wall, what would you expect to hear in that
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meeting? i don't think it will be a great confrontation, to be honest. graham brady is a gentleman tory. he will want to hear what mrs may intends to do rather than putting a gun to her head, as it were, and saying she has to go. i think it will be left to her to take the initiative. but everything we have seen and heard over the last 48 hours suggests she has reached the conclusion that she can't go on because the political reality is her brexit deal is dead, it's not going to get through parliament, and if her bill can't get through parliament, her fate is her bill can't get through parliament, herfate is tied her bill can't get through parliament, her fate is tied to that and there is no point carrying on as prime minister. i don't think that's something she will have decided easily, or a conclusion she will have reached lightly. yesterday there were clear signs she wanted to fight on, trying to press ahead. but the reality seems to be overwhelming. we saw the backlash from party members, mps, on all
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sides, notjust the brexiteers, but some of her supporters saying it will not fly. yesterday we saw jeremy hunt and sajid javid, to make pivotal figures jeremy hunt and sajid javid, to make pivotalfigures in the middle ground of the cabinet. yes, both leadership contenders, but they said to her, you can't expect to get this through. and now the meeting with sirgraham through. and now the meeting with sir graham brady, who comes armed with a vote from the 1922 executive, meaning in effect he can say to her, u nless meaning in effect he can say to her, unless you go, and you set a date for your departure, we will trigger an immediate no—confidence vote. in effect, go of your own volition and don't force us to drag you out kicking and screaming, and i think that's the conclusion she will reach. meeting graham brady today, sajid javid and jeremy hunt yesterday. some say this is the equivalent of the men in suits who put paid to mrs thatcher's premiership. it tends to go this way, if you can't command the
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confidence of the senior people around you, it's pretty much impossible to operate as prime minister. this tends to be what happens in the party, come to a full—blooded leadership contest. the prime minister advised by those around them that there is no point in going on. you could argue mrs may has toughed out so much, and she really has, first brexit secretary david davis walked out, then boris johnson, dominic raab, andrea leadsom. again, losing more and more people, and she is hanging on in there. an extraordinarily resilient politician, some might say bloody—minded, but a very, very determined to press on seemingly against all the odds. you could say she has lost andrea leadsom but so what, she could hunker down. but i think there has been a mood change in the party now that all goes back to the deal she put together to try
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to the deal she put together to try to get labour on board. for many tory mps, the bridge they were not prepared to cross was this idea of opening the way to another referendum. although mrs may has insisted she is not backing another referendum, she is simply saying to mps, if you want to vote on this i will enable it, i think symbolically many tory mps took that as a step too far, to even talk about that as an option. was that her big political mistake? if she hadn't done that, could she have survived? i actually think any compromise she offered now would have either enraged her own party, or wouldn't have been enough to get labour on board. i think we have passed the point of compromise. if this deal had been put on the table a year or so had been put on the table a year or so ago, i think it would probably have got a healthy majority, because there are concessions in there which to appeal to labour mps, on workers'
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rights, the environment, a temporary customs union up to the next election and ifjeremy corbyn wins that he could have gone for a full customs union, and they could have been the option for another referendum. those are all significant movements on mrs may's part. i think the difficulty was, she started out as prime minister tacking hard to the brexiteers, and parked the idea of her as a remainer and she hemmed herself in with red lines she couldn't pull back from. that was a fundamental mistake. the second was the general election, cutting away the prospect of a tory majority to push a deal through on tory party lines. the third difficulty i think is one she has as a politician, in that she is a tory through and through, and by that i mean she has never been a collegiate, gregarious politician who can reach out to others. it was a lwa ys who can reach out to others. it was always going to be difficult for her to broker a broader brexit
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compromise. so we ended up in the position where she left it too late to reach out, and she had already lost her party in the process because of those red lines she herself had put down. in that sense, she was the master of her own misfortune by the way she handled the whole brexit process. i suppose she will go down in history, if she goes imminently as a brexit prime minister who couldn't get brexit through. the question is whether anyone could have done any better. it's such a gargantuan, complex political issue. you need the political issue. you need the political skills of... i don't know, you would have to be a political houdini to get out of this one, it's a massive undertaking. what has made it harder, whereas europe has traditionally been the issue that has devoured tory leaders, it has divided the tory party for the best pa rt divided the tory party for the best part of 50 years. what has happened
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now, it has spilled over into the body politic and spread out into the country. and we are now a very divided country. we had european elections, but this wasn't about the merits of different candidates, to put it bluntly, it was about to remain and leave, and where you are, still. faced with that, you would have to be an extraordinary political leader to manage a way through this, and perhaps more importantly, to find a way to bring this country together again. from where i'm sitting, that might be a task that stretches well beyond the next leader and next parliament. you are probably looking at a generational issue now for whoever ta kes generational issue now for whoever takes over, such is the scale of the task. we can talk about that now. here's the former tory chancellor and father of the house of commons, ken clarke speaking on radio 4's today programme.
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we are going to have a chaotic six weeks now, as a diversion. a possibly harmful diversion from the deadlock on the european union that we've had. all kinds of things could happen. the favourite doesn't usually win. that is, the person expected to win hasn't won one of these for a very long time as far as i can recall. and we've got to make sure that the whole thing is conducted in an atmosphere which doesn't add to the air of tragic farce which has already been surrounding the party and the european issue for the last 12 months. the european research group, the right wing in my party, have finally got their woman, they have been trying to get rid of her for the last two or three months. they seem to imagine the party will now unite behind one of them that most resembles nigel farage. i don't think it will be like that. i hope... i'm not sure i expect, but my naive hope is that we might
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concentrate on what exactly the answer of the new prime minister is going to be to all the problems, the european problems, that defeated theresa may. that was kenneth clarke. we are getting news that helen grant mp, vice chairfor getting news that helen grant mp, vice chair for communities, has resigned. it is with regret that i have today resigned as vice chair for communities, she says. now is the time for new leadership to deliver brexit and unite our party and our country. we can go back to oui’ and our country. we can go back to our assistant political editor norman smith. another day and another resignation. slightly confusing. seems to be slightly by the point given we will have tumultuous change, for people to be abandoning ship now, but i guess the bottom line is that vice chair of the party, helen grant, in ann widdecombe's old seat. we will have to talk to her because i'm not sure
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of the point she is making a stop theresa may will be going, so this will not influence her, unless she wa nts a will not influence her, unless she wants a more free hands to articulate the case for a particular candidate in a leadership contest. we may see more of that, but i can't honestly say. i can't see it being a game changer or anything like that. the significant thing is that yesterday it was really only andrea leadsom who had gone. there wasn't a moment where there would be a concern at downing street that other brexiteers. chris grayling was a p pa re ntly brexiteers. chris grayling was apparently very unhappy with the brexit deal at cabinet the other day. i know liam fox was also unhappy about the idea mrs may had mooted about going to so called indicative votes. plenty of unhappy brexiteers. in a funny sort of way, it is striking they have been hanging on in there. it might rebound against them in a future leadership contest, because when you speak to brexiteer backbenchers, one of their bottom lines seems to be they are not keen on anyone hanging
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on in cabinet, because it suggests people too willing to go on with the accommodations of mrs may. what follows is we are probably looking ata follows is we are probably looking at a brexiteer replacement for mrs may, and quite probably a brexiteer from outwith the cabinet. all of those who stuck in there, their hands are tainted in the blood. but a lot of them did hang in. norman, for the moment, thank you. it's a beautiful, sunny day in downing street, but it could also be a day off history. we expect a statement from the prime minister outlining her departure from downing street. but we will bring you much more. for the moment, we will say goodbye to viewers on bbc two. welcome to viewers on bbc one. i am ben brown in downing street to theresa may could reveal a timetable for her departure after almost three
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yea rs for her departure after almost three years as prime minister. we think she is currently meeting the party's backbench mps to discuss plans for the future and the contest for the new conservative party leader could begin ina new conservative party leader could begin in a fortnight. theresa may will be meeting graham brady, who is expected into downing street right 110w. expected into downing street right now. he is the chair of the 1922 committee of backbench tory mps. the two of them will discuss her future and the timetable for her departure.
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she would not step down straightaway. she would still host president trump on his state visit to the uk injune. that would mean july that would meanjuly is the earliest we could see a new prime minister. graham brady is the pivotalfigure. comedy shop steward of tory backbenches. she has effectively lost support of most of the conservative party. it is interesting. graham brady has come in from interesting. graham brady has come infrom a interesting. graham brady has come in from a bit of criticism from tory mps for not being forthright enough with mrs may and being too willing to allow things to go on and accept meetings down the line. there is a strong body of opinion in the tory party that he should have gone to mrs may a long time ago to shore things up. but he is is an old
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school tory, it is a character issue, he doesn't want to force mrs may out of the door. i think tactically as well, forcing a no—confidence vote would be so bloody and brutal and divisive and ugly. bloody and brutal and divisive and it bloody and brutal and divisive and ugly, it would rebound against the party. better to let mrs may reach her own conclusion that she could not go on. i think that will be the tone of the conversation. to clarify, she doesn't have to go through another confidence vote until the end of the year unless the 1922 committee change those rules. explain what they did on that. there was a move to oust mrs may, as we know, in december. that failed, and under party rules you can't have another crack for another year. she was basically safe until december. but given the unfolding car crash of mrs may's brexit negotiations, there was clearly an appetite to ask mrs may. what the 1922 executive were
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looking at, was rewriting the rules 01’ looking at, was rewriting the rules or suspending the rules. on tuesday night they had a vote to basically suspend the rules, so they could trigger another no—confidence vote. those i have spoken to on the executive say it was pretty clear the majority was for suspending the rules to have another no—confidence vote. when graham brady goes in to speak to mrs may, he has in his pocket a letter with the result of that ballot, and if mrs may were, andi that ballot, and if mrs may were, and i don't think she would, say that she is hanging on, he could put it on the table and say, i don't think so, because if you do we will force you out. that letter is effectively a gun to her head, even if she wanted to stay, she can't. she cannot. the next week is recess so she cannot. the next week is recess so there wouldn't have been a confidence vote next week. put figures on the executive i have spoken to have said they would trigger it as soon as parliament came back on june trigger it as soon as parliament came back onjune four. picture the
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scene, donald trump arrives. how could you have a prime minister next to the american president, knowing the bulk of parliament mps, will probably be voting overwhelmingly to get rid of you. it would have been so get rid of you. it would have been so chaotic and damaging to the brand of great britain. it's almost unthinkable. i think mrs may would have known that, quite apart from the fact, apart from her own sense of self—worth. she wouldn't have wa nted of self—worth. she wouldn't have wanted to be forced out and be clinging on the door by her fingernails this way. at least she can say, i did my best, i believe this is the best deal and our best opportunity to get it through the stop i have not convinced the house of commons and it's up to someone else to try. that is a coherent and respective way to leave. we can hear 110w respective way to leave. we can hear now from the new defence secretary penny mordaunt, a prominent leave campaigner. any messages for the
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prime minister? i will spend the day with the british army and raf. will you throw your hat in the ring to replace her, minister? not much there from penny mordaunt, the new defence secretary, but the contest for the new party leader, if the timetable is as we expect, would begin officially in the middle of june, around during the tense, and we think that contest would go on for around six weeks. we would not have a new prime minister until july. that is a fast timetable for the tory party, with a clear timetable to get this done and dusted before mps go for the summer recess at the close ofjuly. ifjune ten was the date, there would then probably be a two—week period for parliamentary hustings, where all the candidates, and you only need
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two nominations to stand, so the world and his wife could stand if you are a tory mp. this morning i counted 15 potential runners, one of my colleagues got up to 17, a cavalcade of candidates. they will be whittled down to two. so you would then have a series of exhaustive ballots, where the bottom candidate keeps dropping out. more realistically, candidates will know they only have three and a half supporters so there is no point. they would know themselves there is no point going for it so i would guess you get half a dozen or so, hacked back to two, and that is then put to a ballot of the party membership. there has to be hustings in each of the 11 regions of the tory party, and then there would be a postal ballot to choose the winner. so we would expect the winner. so we would expect the winner to be in place by the beginning of august, giving them the summer beginning of august, giving them the summer to try to get a new team in
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place, to shake their pitch. it's difficult, because the summer months are sleepy, nobody is paying attention. but that would be the hope. and in the interim, theresa may would stand down as leader on june ten, but she would be in there as prime minister until the middle ofjuly. but i know you will be paying attention all summer! speaking of the runners and riders. the contest is now hotting up and has been for weeks. former foreign secretary borisjohnson has confirmed he will stand in the race. esther mcvey and rory stewart are other mps to have openly declared they would stand, but mrjohnson has long been seen as the frontrunner among brexit—supporting grassroots tory members. if he does make it onto the final
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ballot of two, he can expect to do well with the party at large. he could face competition from dominic raab. the former brexit secretary has not yet announced he will run, but appeared to set out policies for a future manifesto in an interview with the sunday times, including a cut to the basic rate of income tax. he has said he would not vote for mrs may's new brexit plan, saying: "i cannot support legislation that would be the vehicle for a second referendum or customs union." foreign secretaryjeremy hunt has not confirmed that he will run for party leader, but like mr raab has used a newspaper profile to introduce voters to his family. the foreign secretary is seen as a more moderate brexit candidate than mrjohnson and mr raab — he campaigned for remain in the 2016 referendum, and has since voted for the prime minister's deal. and michael gove could also be in the running after an interview
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in which he said he had learned from his 2016 leadership attempt. he refused to say whether he would run in a new leadership contest, but his role as environment secretary has allowed him rehabilitate his reputation after he ended borisjohnson's candidacy three years ago by launching his own campaign. some say that he stabbed boris johnson in the back, and in the front. former conservative mp david mellor, was speaking to bbc brea kfast mellor, was speaking to bbc breakfast earlier. what i found ridiculous was this business that we had to deliver brexit, as was said by theresa may, but she was delivering brexit in name only, brino, where most of the proper elements of brexit had been negotiated away. and whatever awful
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things people say about theresa may, there is a person skulking in his personally created gypsy caravan, writing his overpriced memoirs, who is really responsible for this mess, and that's david cameron. but the truth of the matter is, until brexit is dealt with, no conservative leader will have an easy time. and the country won't have an easy time. that's why, in truth, what now has to happen is there has to be a second referendum and the same question has to be asked again because the evidence on which people voted three years ago has changed almost completely. that was david mellor with his thoughts. norman smith, we were going through the runners and riders. is it your expectation that borisjohnson, who has already officially said he will run, that he would make it to the list of two that would be put to the party at large and the country. we know in the party around the uk, he is overwhelmingly popular. know in the party around the uk, he
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is overwhelmingly popularlj know in the party around the uk, he is overwhelmingly popular. i think the truth about tory leadership contest is to place no wait on expectation because frankly anything can happen, and frankly does. on the face of it, you would say boris johnson is the standout frontrunner, the polls suggest it and he is the party darling and he is a shoeing if it went to the party grassroots. but if you trace previous tory leadership contest, it never works out that way. michael heseltine did in mrs thatcher, the glory boy of the tory party, but was overtaken by the tory party, but was overtaken by the grey man, john major. nobody predicted that. iain duncan smith was not an obvious person to succeed, but he did. even david cameron, up against david davis. david cameron was a nobody at the beginning, nobody had heard of him. but he managed to come from nowhere because he took off his tie and jacket and did the whole casual compassionate conservative thing, and people thought it was great. so
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he won. and theresa may only won because of the greek tragedy slaughterhouse that went on in the background between borisjohnson, michael gove and the other candidates. basically, nobody else was left standing, they were all lying ina was left standing, they were all lying in a bloody pool on the stage. again and again, it never goes to plan. boris johnson has again and again, it never goes to plan. borisjohnson has his supporters in the country and in parliament, but equally there are many tories who would pretty much die ina many tories who would pretty much die in a ditch to stop him. they don't trust him. frankly, they don't think he is a tory in some ways, they think he is a borisjohnson one—man fan club. so there are many tories who will do whatever they can to try to stop him getting on the final ballot. it's extraordinarily difficult to do that because two names go through and my guess will be one will be a brexiteer and one will be a remainer or former be one will be a brexiteer and one will be a remainer orformer remain. looking at the brexiteer cast list,
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dominic raab simply doesn't have the profile and razzmatazz charisma that i think tory mps probably want. they wa nt i think tory mps probably want. they want somebody who puts them in with a shout of winning. borisjohnson can at least point to the london mayoralty as an example of how he can win in a labour city. penny mordaunt is an interesting one. there is quite a lot of respect for her. she doesn't have a huge profile. she is a woman comic which creates a different dynamic in the country. —— she is a woman, which creates. she is not an old it only in. ithink creates. she is not an old it only in. i think you could look at boris johnson stabbing himself in the front, slipping up, he could scupper himself, and that is not impossible because lets be honest, boris johnson is a bit of a wild card.
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anything could happen. as things stand, he is the favourite, but things never go to plan. we have been talking about the personalities, but what about the country? theresa may was a prime minister trying to get a brexit deal. is the chance now of a no—deal brexit heightened by the fact she is probably, depending on what happens today, not going to be in downing street for much longer, and we might get somebody like boris johnson taking over? i think that is a likelihood now, yes. if it's impossible to reach any sort of compromise, and we have tried umpteen different ways of doing this in parliament, three goes at mrs may's bill, indicative votes twice, nobody has been able to agree on anything. more than that, you would need a comfortable majority to push through any proposal. we are nowhere in parliament, it is stuck in deadlock, and the maths will not
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change unless you have a general election. would a new tory leader wa nt election. would a new tory leader want a general election? not if the local and european elections are any indicative outcome. it's a high wire strategy for stock that leaves you with parliament running up to the buffers of october 31, the new european deadline. if we do nothing, we would leave without a deal. so we are basically dependent on two things. either mps have to come up with a ground we use to try to get round the possibility somehow of no deal. —— a grand wheeze. they tried it before with the yvette cooper, nick boles manoeuvre. but maybe if no deal was in front of peoples faces they might try it. or we go cap in hand, bended knee, please sir, to the eu, to ask for longer. if you talk to folk in government, they are convinced the eu has basically had it up to the back
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teeth with us. they are fed up with us, and they don't want to waste more time with the british parliament unable to agree. especially president macron, it seems. exactly. and they have big things to deal with themselves. they don't want to deal with brits banging on about brexit all the time for top it's not just banging on about brexit all the time for top it's notjust brexiteers, but remainers as well. the eu could say, sorry, guys, we have given you plenty of time, come up with a deal that's on the table. you either sign up that's on the table. you either sign up or go away. i think there is now a significant likelihood that we will leave with no deal. on october 31. that is looking quite far ahead but looking at this morning, it has just gone 9:30am, you are watching bbc news live from downing street where theresa may, as we have been
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reporting them is expected to reveal later this morning a timetable for her departure from downing street, after almost three years as prime minister. we think she is currently meeting the party's backbench mps from the 1922 committee, sir graham brady, to discuss her plans. it is expected that the contest to find a new conservative party leader could start ina new conservative party leader could start in a fortnight‘s time, perhaps during the tense being the most likely date. the pressure on the prime minister has been intensified in recent days especially amid anger about her latest brexit plans —— it is thoughtjune about her latest brexit plans —— it is thought june tenth about her latest brexit plans —— it is thoughtjune tenth is the date. we think she is currently meeting sirgraham we think she is currently meeting sir graham brady but we have not seen sir graham brady but we have not seen him here, he might have come in through another entrance or even be talking to her on the phone but we we re talking to her on the phone but we were told that they would be talking at nine o'clock this morning. he is chairman of the conservative backbench mps and is basically saying to her, time is up, you need
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to go and tell us when you are going. after that meeting, the prime minister could give a statement from here in downing street announcing here in downing street announcing her departure date. she probably won't step down straightaway, we are told she will still be hosting president trump during his state visit in the early days ofjune. it is thought the 10th ofjune could mark the start of a conservative party leadership contest to select her successor. that would mean that july would probably be the earliest we would see a new prime minister here at number ten. we can hear from the former conservative chancellor and father of the house of commons, prominent pro—european and remain campaigner ken clarke who has been speaking on radio four today. we are going to have a chaotic six weeks now, as a diversion, possibly a harmful diversion, from the deadlock on the
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european union that we have had. and all kinds of things could happen. the favourite doesn't usually win, that is the person expected to win has not won one of these for a very long time, as far as i can recall. and we have got to make sure the whole thing is conducted in an atmosphere which does not add to the air over tragic farce which has already been surrounding the party and the european issue for the last 12 months. the european research group, the right wing of my party, have finally got their woman. they have been trying to get rid of her for the last two or three months. they seem to imagine the party will now unite behind the one of them that most resembles nigel farage. i don't think it is going to be like that. i hope, i'm not sure i expect, but my naive hope is that we might concentrate on what exactly the answer of the new prime minister is going to be to all the problems,
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european problems, that defeated defeated theresa may. that is former chancellor ken clarke with his thoughts on what is going on and we can now get the thoughts of norman smith allsop we don't know exactly what is going on inside there. we were told the prime minister was meeting sir graham brady for these crucial talks that would pave the way for her departure. situation normal, we don't know what's going on! i assume he must have gone in through some other door. it seems unlikely that this sort of conversation, given the seriousness of it, is something you could do over the phone. not impossible but i would have thought unlikely. i am speculating here, impossible but i would have thought unlikely. iam speculating here, but maybe it has been put back by half an hour, maybe mrs may wants more time to gather her own thoughts. i assume she will have to prepare some sort of statement as well. these are
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important moments in the life of a prime minister. if you think how far she was defined by her own words when she became prime minister, talking about tackling the burning injustices, and that became a leitmotif for what she wanted to do but was never able to do, because her whole premiership was totally and utterly ta ken her whole premiership was totally and utterly taken over by brexit that she never got on to that other agenda. that is another thing that strikes me. although i guess there will be some sadness in tory ranks, that here was a prime minister that did her best, an immense sense of public duty, but failed, at the same timei public duty, but failed, at the same time i think they will be relief. relief in this sense that parliament has basically ground to a halt. i was speaking to one tory mp the other day who were saying, i didn't come here to do nothing, but that is has happened. you would wander around parliament on wednesday
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afternoon after pmqs and it would be deserted because there was no legislation and nothing to do and all of these many issues that everybody knows we face as a country, whether it is housing, social care, if you take social care, i have lost count of how many times different health secretaries have said, i have got my green paper, we will be producing its own, we are going to do something. everybody knows it is a massive problem. again and again it has been put back and back and i remember talking to matthew hancock and he said we would have to get brexit assorted first and that is not happening anytime soon so that none of the other myriad difficulties are getting resolved. ithink of the other myriad difficulties are getting resolved. i think there is a sense that we cannot go on like this in parliament because genuinely, parliament has ground to a halt. she had reached a position where she was never going to break the deadlock, she had exhausted all her political capital. she had run out of moves to
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play. there are plenty of people who say that you bring in a new leader and nothing really changes, the parliamentary arithmetic is the same, same brexit conundrums, still michel barnier on the other side of the negotiating table, what has changed? the negotiating table, what has changed ? the analogy the negotiating table, what has changed? the analogy i draw is with the struggling football team. they may still have the same useless group of players, the same fans and the stadium and a set of fixtures but sometimes, sometimes you get a new manager in and he canjust unlock things a bit and people do start to think anew and play afresh. maybe you still go down to relegation but sometimes it can work and that is the hope, that may be just a fresh face, fresh momentum, just a fresh face, fresh momentum, just perhaps could unlock things. it is still an almighty big ask but not impossible. and in terms of the haemorrhaging of support for her, we have seen it in the party at large, round the country, on the back benches and in her cabinet, which of
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thoseis benches and in her cabinet, which of those is the most important? what has been the fatal blow but i think it is the one that has not been struck, which is by the party in the country. mrs may has never been someone country. mrs may has never been someone who was going to have a solid base in the parliamentary party, there has never been a group of may—ites. the parliamentary party was never going to be her base. the cabinet could have been but because it was a balancing act with some brexiteers and remainers. the party and the country are her people. she isa and the country are her people. she is a sort of true rubber chicken circuit tory and that is not in a demeaning sense, that is where she has drawn her strength, her roots, her identity as a tory from, from ordinary grassroots tories and she loves that, that is hurting. tory party events the constituency. that a cravat is herfinger. when i say
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the blow that has not been struck, we know the national conservative convention was meant to meet in an emergency meeting on the 15th of june and the likelihood was they we re june and the likelihood was they were going to pass a motion of no confidence in the pm and has never happened to any other tory leader. you imagine, from mrs may, that would have been like her own pulling her down. i think personally she would have found that very, very difficult. and in the back of her mind, i suspect she wanted to avoid that at all costs. and when they decided to hold that emergency general meeting, i think then she probably knew it was over. we don't know what is going to unfold here in downing street. we expect she is going to announce this timetable and i suppose the departure of any prime minister is always a moment of great political theatre, however it happens, and it happens in different ways fault we remember margaret thatcher wiping away tears as she left. i'm not saying theresa may is going to leave but effectively sealing the end of her premiership.
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yes, i suspect that once she does her statement, she will by and large dipped below the political horizon and will probably go back to her constituency. they will be an absence of political activities. the next real moment and probably last real moment for mrs may will be with donald trump, when he arrives on the 3rd ofjune and then the d—day commemorations. they are important national moment and she will be there at a national symbol, not a political figure. there at a national symbol, not a politicalfigure. curious there at a national symbol, not a political figure. curious for donald trump, standing next to a prime minister who is leaving. they have a lwa ys minister who is leaving. they have always had this rather curious relationship. you kind of sense that although they spoke kindly about each other, they absolutely were not on the same political wavelength. curious for him. interesting to see as well, he is never shy about coming forward in any way, and if he
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chooses to meet borisjohnson or anything like that, gets entangled in the tory leadership contest and whether anybody would want him to do so, but i suspect that once mrs may decides to go, she will dip beneath the horizon although she will still be prime minister until the end of july. we are seeing chaps who seem to be setting up a sound system. does this look like a downing street vetera n does this look like a downing street veteran with preparations for a statement? usually you get the press office come out, i have seen one talking to one of my colleagues, who i presume has been told, the next 20 minutes, half an hour. the usual key factor is when you see the lectin brought out! the lectin moment! and larry is waiting for something impatiently, he has seen it all before! larry the cat has seen them come and go. where are we, 20 minutes to ten i guess you could
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have a ten o'clock blastoff. it looks like we're moving towards the moment. it won't be dead on time because mrs may has to think how she will project herself. it is actually a statement that will be seen for yea rs a statement that will be seen for years and years, a moment of history. we will look back on it. it's also an immensely personal moment because yes, she will stay as prime minister, but you are in effect saying goodbye to all the staff and people who have stuck by you through thick and thin. and it is that moment of reckoning, that this is it, it is over. emotionally, and mrs may has never been a very emotionally engaged politician, quite a difficult moment as well to try to strike the right tone. you don't want to be unnecessarily mawkish or anything like that, it is
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a hard moment. and i guess as well she will want to try and, i guess, give a sense of hope and direction for the country. yes, it has all endedin for the country. yes, it has all ended in a bit of a car crash, but to give a sense that it is not impossible, successor does have something to build on, there are ways of trying to make progress. i think she will want to give a bit of optimism that it is not, oh my god, it has all ended in tears. i think she will want to also try and give a sense of optimism and lastly, i think she will want to try at least bind her party together to avoid a com plete bind her party together to avoid a complete and utter meltdown and bloodbath with people running around in togas stabbing each other! an appealfor people in togas stabbing each other! an appeal for people to have a degree of respect for different arguments because that is one thing that has slipped away in the whole brexit thing, the language of brexit has become increasingly violent and
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vociferous and pretty unsavoury. she has never got into that, she has actually been very restrained in her language throughout, even though people have been metaphorically hurling rocks at her, she has never gonein hurling rocks at her, she has never gone in for that and has always been quite a decorous politician in that sense. i suspect she will want her party now not to go in for the com plete party now not to go in for the complete bloodbath scenario which could be how this all turns out. a lot for her to try and pull together andi lot for her to try and pull together and i suspect that is what she is now doing, trying to get the words right and get herframe of mind right and get herframe of mind right and get herframe of mind right and may just right and get herframe of mind right and mayjust rehearse a few of the lines to make sure she projects it right. we have just seen larry the cat being taken in! you don't wa nt the cat being taken in! you don't want larry hogging the limelight! may be the primers that will have a farewell cuddle with larry. that meant that the prime minister. we can hear it from one of the contenders likely to be part of the
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conservative party leadership race. dominic dominic prominent leave campaign. slowly there are discussions ongoing in westminster andi discussions ongoing in westminster and i think the promise that meets with her top team and the 1922 committee to have the time and space to come to a resolution on the issue. are you going to be announcing your intention to join the race for the leadership of the party? i don't think we should get ahead of ourselves, we want to see what the result of the european elections are we want to see what the prime minister says. how long can she hang on a caretaker role? as isaid,| can she hang on a caretaker role? as i said, i want to see her given the time and space and respect to make this decision with her dignity in ta ct this decision with her dignity in tact and integrity i want to her that time at the moment. thank you very much. that was dominic raab speaking earlier. meanwhile, we think here in downing street the state is being set for a prime ministerial announcement from theresa may. —— the stage. we don't do what time that will be. we understood she was meeting the
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chairman of the 1922 committee of backbenchers, sir graham brady, and they were making it pretty clear to at that time had run out she had run out of road and had no option but to set out a timetable for her departure from number ten and it is thought that that would be the 10th ofjune as the starting date for a leadership contest within the conservative party to find her successor. she would stay on as prime minister, and she would impact the caretaker prime minister until the caretaker prime minister until the new party leader and the new prime minister is selected. let's talk a little bit about the potential contestants in that conservative leadership race when it does begin. it has been heating up in the last few days with plenty of the candidates setting out their ideas for the country. these are the main runners and riders. former foreign secretary borisjohnson has confirmed he will stand in the race. esther mcvey and rory stewart
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are other mps to have openly declared they would stand, but mrjohnson has long been seen as the frontrunner among brexit—supporting grassroots tory members. the question is whether he would get onto the ballot of the last two would then be put to the country at large and that is down to the tory mps, whether they would select him as one of those two to be put to the national party membership. he could face competition from dominic raab. we just heard from him. the former brexit secretary has not yet announced he will run, but appeared to set out policies for a future manifesto in an interview with the sunday times, including a cut to the basic rate of income tax. he has said he would not vote for mrs may's new brexit plan, saying, "i cannot support legislation that would be the vehicle for a second referendum or customs union." foreign secretaryjeremy hunt has
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not confirmed that he will run for party leader, but, like mr raab, has used a newspaper profile to introduce voters to his family. the foreign secretary is seen as a more moderate brexit candidate than mrjohnson and mr raab — he campaigned for remain in the 2016 we can show you the scene in downing street right now because the lectern has been produced. norman smith talked about this at the moment when we know for sure there will be a prime ministerial statement in the next few minutes. we cannot say exactly what time but that is the moment when, in the sunshine of downing street this morning, we think that theresa may will come out of number ten and announced the timetable for her departure from number ten. you can see the sound engineers just getting everything
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ready for that statement. a little moment of history is about to unfold here in downing street as theresa may we think, will outline the timetable for her departure and we think, we don't know, but we think it would mean she would stay on as prime ministerfor the it would mean she would stay on as prime minister for the state visit of donald trump in earlyjune. and then she would trigger a tory party leadership contest on the 10th of june. all that time she would stay on as prime minister, she would be ca reta ker on as prime minister, she would be caretaker prime minister until the conservative party find a successor. the tory mps come up with two candidates who are then put to the country at large, the national conservative party membership, and then they choose who will take over from theresa may not only as tory party leader of course but as prime minister of the united kingdom we can go back to norman smith, our assistant political editor. as we suspected and you have been telling us, we will get a statement and it looks like this is the end of the
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road for theresa may as prime minister. it does. ithoughti road for theresa may as prime minister. it does. ithought i was going to be able to tell you what the primaries that was going to say because i have been sent an e—mail bite her office saint, dear member of the lobby, please see below a checked against version of the promise to's statement this morning for immediate release. u nfortu nately, for immediate release. unfortunately, it is sent blank! so near and yet so far! but there is obviously going to be a statement. i suspect we will get that in the next 15 minutes, just after ten o'clock is the likelihood. it is a huge moment for mrs may. as we have been saying, a moment of reflection. i suspect she will want to point to things she has achieved. that tends to be what prime ministers do, they like to flag up how they would like to be remembered. she desperately does not want to just be known as the prime minister who tried and failed to deliver practicum or be it, let's be honest, that was her central... and frankly that is how
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she will be known. indeed, just as tony blair in all probability will be remembered for the iraq war, so mrs may will be remembered even more so mrs may will be remembered even more so for brexit. there really has been nothing else happening in politics for the past two or three years. we have in effect been totally overshadowed by the whole saga. all of which it said, i am sure she will wa nt to of which it said, i am sure she will want to point to the additional funding for the want to point to the additional funding forthe nhs, want to point to the additional funding for the nhs, for example, as one area where she will hope that she might be remembered. but she faced an impossible task is the honest truth i think. any politician was going to have to have enormous political skills and, above all, a political skills and, above all, a political majority in parliament, something she never had after she frittered away david cameron's majority with that disastrous election campaign. in a way, all the difficulties over brexit go back to that miscalculation and what a miss calculation. when they went into that election, the psyche in team
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may which we are going to pummel corbyn and get a stonking landslide and we could even win in wales! as it unfolded, suddenly her character became much more of an issue, the maybot was born and majority disappeared and the result of a hung parliament and it seems to me that undermined the prospect of getting a deal through parliament because brexit is so contagious and difficult, you need notjust a majority but quite a chunky majority —— so majority but quite a chunky majority —— so difficult. latterly, she has decided, in a hung parliament, the only way to get round it was to bring on board the opposition and so she reached out to labour in the knowledge she could not get info on the back of tory or dup votes but it was too late in the day. if she had done this whole cross—party thing a year or two ago, i think there is a pretty good chance it would have paid off and she might have got a deal not dissimilar to the one she has put up and has been torn down,
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she could have got it through parliament. but she moved to the broader conciliatory cross—party approach far, far too late in the day. added to which, i think labour smelt blood and they were in a different ball game. they are not interested in saving mrs may, they wa nt interested in saving mrs may, they want a general election and out of the chaos and upheaval of her going, they sense the opportunity of a general election. thank you very much for that we can talk now to the conservative mp and member of the european research group of tory backbenchers, steve baker, who joined us via webcam. you have been campaigning to topple theresa may for quite some time now and it looks like you have finally got your way are you happy? we have not been campaigning to topple theresa may, we have been campaigning for an eu exit policy which will meet peoples expectations and leave us as an independent country without own domestic capacity for regulation and independent trade policy. you know the arguments. obviously i can't get
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away from the history that jacob and i went out last autumn and said that the prime minister should go then. we looked ahead and we could see a crisis coming if the policy was pursued but i'm afraid that there is no escaping it today the situation is about both the policy and the person and both need to change. some would say that you and fellow tory mps who have been opposed to her leadership have been disloyal, even treacherous. it is most unfortunate if people use language like that. i have always been steadfast in ensuring i have not described colleagues in that way. if we go back to the stop the conservatives for britain in the 2015 election, i always believed it was important we had a culture of honour amongst us and showed a higher standard of leadership asthma go back to the start. if people are using unfortunately abusive language like that, i wish they would stop. as we go forward, it will matter to a historic degree how every single conservative member of parliament behaves and indeed how the dup work
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with us. i think colleagues need to rise above that kind of condemnation and language. if this is an announcement, which we are expecting from theresa may, of her departure, will you give her credit for anything? of course. we have absolutely no desire to be mean—spirited to a prime minister who no doubt has behaved honourably in pursuing what she thought best but unfortunately, partly, i would say it mainly because of the way the eu has behaved on sequencing and delivering a deal which no self respect and country could accept, indeed, if you watch the behind closed doors documentary, they described it as colony status, this is most unfortunate. we certainly give theresa may credit for being dutiful and diligent, honourably pursuing what she is seen as the national interest i think it is for her to define her legacy and not me but we give her credit for a great many things. what do you think happens next? who do you think
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becomes the next tory party leader and prime minister?” becomes the next tory party leader and prime minister? i think that question has to be seen through the lens of events which will take place over the next couple of weeks. we are going into the whitsun recess so conservative mps will not be around to folk put then have the visit of the president of the united states —— to vote. that is really important to the uk and usa and we need to unite and make sure that is a successful of the commemoration of the day. it could be that nothing moves on until the 10th ofjune and that might be in the national interest —— commemoration of d—day. perhaps she will announce she is standing down as leader of the conservative party and it could be as late as the 10th ofjune and i think either way it could be seen as reasonable. i say that because i do wa nt reasonable. i say that because i do want the president's put it to be a success, we want the president's put it to be a success, we want a successful commemoration of d—day will stop these things matter in the life of our country and for our future. who do want to be the next tory party leader? it has to be something who
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believes in leaving the eu, the frontrunners are clearly boris johnson and dominic raab. i think they have complement for talents. there is no point shying away from it, people have been asking me to stand. i have had a degree of support from across the country that i could never have foreseen. i have also had some mps asking me to stand but i need to face up to the challenge of taking a decision on whether i should do it. i need to talk to other candidates and i will need to reach a decision myself but obviously, while i am mulling that over, i could not back another candidate. you could be a contender? it is conceivable, yes. it has come about because the third presentation of this deal, boris johnson and dominic raab and indeed david davis and esther mcvey voted for and i did not and the combination of that and come if i say so myself, that degree of leadership i have provided to colleagues now for years, adamant that some colleagues said i should consider it in from outside parliament, i have had a lot of pressure to say i should stand. obviously i must consider it out of respect for those colleagues and
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members of the public. it is possible. it sounds like you're outlining a manifesto for yourself question i don't think i would go that far. the truth is, over the la st that far. the truth is, over the last four years, i have been a leading figure in coordinating eurosceptics, at times serving up to a third of the conservative party. time and again, we have written down what we wanted, how to deliver things, why we need to see things moving on i have always been at the ce ntre moving on i have always been at the centre of that, in particular a publication called better deal would be published after the first time we voted down the agreement in order to set out how we should proceed. that was assembled from the work of many peoples but it was me who put it together and put a forward in it and i think these things have proceeded people saying i should consider it. it has never been part of a leadership campaign because only re ce ntly leadership campaign because only recently have i been asked to do it. 0k, recently have i been asked to do it. ok, steve baker, grateful to you for yourtime, ok, steve baker, grateful to you for
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your time, thank you forjoining us live from high wycombe. meanwhile, here in downing street, as you can see, the lec turn is there ready and waiting behind me in the sunshine, waiting behind me in the sunshine, waiting for the prime minister to step out of number ten and outline, we think, the timetable for her departure from downing street. you're watching a bbc news special with me ben brown in downing street — where the prime minister is expected to make an announcement this morning about her future. our headlines... ministers expect theresa may to announce a date for her resignation today, after a backlash by her own mps against her latest brexit plan. the stage is being set in downing street for an imminent announcement by the prime minister. the 10th june is widely expected to be the start of the leadership contest. boris johnson, andrea leadsom, esther mcvey and rory stewart have all already confirmed they will run — but senior conservatives insist it's an open field. all kinds of things could happen.

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