Tom Watson: Mr Speaker that is not a mere flesh wound.

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Tom watson
The country "genuinely feels sorry for the Prime Minister - but she cannot refuse pity with legitimacy

Tom Watson gave a cold, brutal assessment of Theresa May’s failure to lead Britain out of the EU

“The country feels genuinely sorry for the Prime Minister,” he said. “I feel sorry for the Prime Minister. “But she cannot confuse pity with political legitimacy”.

He said: “No-one doubts her determination, which is generally an admirable quality. “But misapplied it can be toxic. And the cruellest truth of all is that she doesn’t possess the necessary skills, the political skills, the empathy, the ability and most crucially the policy to lead this country any longer.

Speaking in a calm, measured tone, he said: “Now I know there are many good people in the government examining their consciences as the clock runs down on these Brexit negotiations.

“Because she has refused to resign we now face a choice between a general election to sort out this mess or continued paralysis under her leadership.

He said: “No-one doubts her determination, which is generally an admirable quality.

“But misapplied it can be toxic. And the cruellest truth of all is that she doesn’t possess the necessary skills, the political skills, the empathy, the ability and most crucially the policy to lead this country any longer.

He went on:“But now the ante has been raised. The government has been defeated on a Brexit plan which has been the sole reason for its existence for the past two years.

“It has not just been defeated on the most crucial issue facing our country, it has suffered the worst defeat of any British government in history.

Although he said he had no doubt that Theresa May had “tried her best and given it her all”, he added: “She has failed and I’m afraid the failure is hers and hers alone. If the Prime Minister really sat down and thought carefully about the implications of that defeat last night for the country, she would have resigned.

“432 to 202 – Mr Speaker that is not a mere flesh wound. The cruellest truth of all is that she doesn’t possess the necessary skills, the political skills, the empathy, the ability, and most crucially the policy to lead this country any longer.” “And the clock is ticking. MPs have shown they’re ready to take back control over what has been from start to finish a failed Brexit process