Tory party vice-chairs quitting over PM May's Brexit strategy - government official

Tory party vice-chairs quitting over PM May's Brexit strategy - government official

Tory party vice-chairs quitting over PM May's Brexit strategy - government official

Two vice chairs of the Conservative Party, Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley, are quitting their posts in protest at Theresa May's Chequers Brexit compromise plan.

It comes as federal minister Christopher Pyne reassured the United Kingdom that Australia will have a good relationship with the country's new foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt following Boris Johnson's resignation. Eurosceptics warned that there will be a "domino effect" after they quit.

In his resignation letter, Bradley, the MP for Mansfield, said the Chequers proposals would leave the United Kingdom "tied to European Union trade regulations" and he believed the outcome would be "the worst of all worlds" because it would "not deliver a Brexit in spirit".

It led to a minor Cabinet reshuffle, with health secretary Jeremy Hunt taking over as foreign secretary and Matt Hancock taking over health.

'The policy may assuage vested interests, but the voters will find out and their representatives will be found out.

"This policy will be bad for our country and bad for the party", said the Lewes MP.

The prime minister's team was openly criticised last night by the former chief of staff to David Davis.

Bradley echoed these remarks: "If we do not deliver Brexit in spirit as well as in name, then we are handing Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Number 10".

Conservative chairman Brandon Lewis said: "Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley have worked hard since the start of the year to promote women and young people on behalf of the Conservative Party".

"Since the announcement on Friday my constituents, whether they voted leave or remain, have contacted me in large numbers to say they do not support the deal and it would therefore be more appropriate to have a vice-chairman who can confidently defend the proposal".

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