Commons leader Andrea Leadsom has resigned from the government amid a backlash against Theresa May’s Brexit plan from Conservative MPs.
Here is her resignation letter in full:
Dear prime minister
I am proud to have served in your government since 2016, first as your environment secretary and for the last two years as leader of the House of Commons, and pay tribute to the excellent work of my civil servants in both roles. More recently, setting up the new complaints procedure, putting in train the restoration of the Palace of Westminster, introducing proxy voting for MPs, proposing a new strategy to support early years, and ensuring the timely delivery of our legislative programme, my role as leader of the Commons has been highly rewarding, and I am grateful to have had these opportunities.
I stayed in cabinet to shape and fight for Brexit. There have been some uncomfortable compromises along the way, but you have had my determined support and loyalty in your efforts to deliver Brexit as our shared goal.
I no longer believe that our approach will deliver on the referendum result, for the following reasons:
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.
I know there are important elections tomorrow, and many Conservatives have worked hard to support our excellent candidates. 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.
It is therefore with great regret and with a heavy heart that I resign from the government.