Wales politics

Ex-minister Stephen Crabb calls for new PM 'within weeks'

Stephen Crabb
Image caption Stephen Crabb says a new PM should take over as soon as possible

Former Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb says a new prime minister needs to take over within weeks.

The comments by a Conservative MP previously loyal to Theresa May come as pressure grows on her to quit.

Mr Crabb told BBC Wales his party has "come to the end of the road with this prime minister".

"We are at a moment where we do need to turn a page and look at a new prime minister coming in the next few weeks." he said.

Mrs May is facing growing calls from cabinet members to resign amid a backlash against her Brexit plan from Conservative MPs.

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom announced on Wednesday she had quit the cabinet saying she no longer believes the government's approach will deliver Brexit.

Mr Crabb earlier said he would struggle to vote for Mrs May's Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which would put the deal that was voted down three times in the Commons into law, because of his opposition to a second referendum.

She has offered a vote on a further referendum if the bills passes on second reading.

"It is clear talking to colleagues from all parts of the parliamentary party, even the more moderate centrists, that for all her efforts Theresa May hasn't been able to deliver this pragmatic Brexit," the MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire said.

"We need to turn the page as quickly as possible and get into the leadership contest, which has already started in all but name."

'I wouldn't vote for any of them'

Meanwhile Conservative MP for Aberconwy Guto Bebb said his party "has totally failed and I don't believe there is much of a future for the party at the moment".

Speaking on Radio Cymru's Post Prynhawn, when asked who he would he give his support to in the leadership contest he said: "There is no one worthy for me to vote for. I wouldn't vote for any of them."

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Theresa May will make the case for her new Brexit plan to MPs later

Earlier Brecon and Radnor Conservative MP Chris Davies, who has also backed May's deal three times, said he would not do so again, saying the offer of a vote on a referendum is a significant deterrent.

David Davies, Tory Monmouth MP, suggested he may also vote against the Brexit bill.

He tweeted: "Conservative policy is to accept the result of the people who voted in the 2016 referendum - not to hold another one. I will not be supporting anything which leads to the people being forced to vote again."

Simon Hart, Tory MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, said he would support it, as did party colleague Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies.

Mr Davies said: "It's the final offer, and one than should unite MPs. I will certainly vote for it. [It] delivers Brexit as voted for.

"Cannot understand any Conservative who doesn't back it. If it fails, we could well be heading for a Corbyn-led govt."

Cabinet member Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns is also expected to vote for the legislation.

Image caption Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville Roberts says Brexit can be stopped if MPs vote against the legislation

Brexiteer Clwyd West Tory MP David Jones has opposed the deal throughout.

"It's a bribe to Labour to vote for the Bill on second reading," he said. "Anyone from a pro-Brexit seat who votes for a second referendum is also voting to make himself redundant."

Labour's Anna McMorrin, MP for Cardiff North, said it was the "same empty rhetoric from a weakened prime minister".

Her colleague Stephen Doughty, of Cardiff South and Penarth, said the "devil is in the detail".

'Damages the nation'

Plaid Cymru's leader at Westminster, Liz Saville Roberts, said: "We simply cannot vote for something that knowingly damages the nation we represent.

"A Parliamentary vote on a People's Vote is nothing new. The House of Commons always had that right.

"As the prime minister herself admitted - if MPs vote against this Bill we can stop Brexit. Why would we do anything else?"

A Welsh spokesman for the Brexit Party said: "The prime minister says MPs can vote to hold a 2nd referendum as part of her new worst deal in history. She'll never let us leave the EU.

"Today's Parliament will never let us leave the EU. This is a big Con-Lab stitch-up."

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