Defiant Theresa May rebuilds shattered government as Brexit crisis eases

The beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May began to rebuild her splintered government Friday, replac...

Posted: Nov 16, 2018 9:32 PM
Updated: Nov 16, 2018 9:32 PM

The beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May began to rebuild her splintered government Friday, replacing two Cabinet ministers who quit over her troubled Brexit plans and facing down demands that she resign.

After a rollercoaster week that threatened to bring an end to her premiership, May survived Friday without any further high-profile departures from her administration. To the relief of Downing Street, key Brexit-supporting ministers said they would stay on.

Brexit

Continents and regions

Europe

European Union

Government organizations - Intl

Northern Europe

United Kingdom

Government and public administration

Political Figures - Intl

Politics

Theresa May

Government bodies and offices

Heads of government

Prime ministers

Crucially, May won the support of Michael Gove, a leading Brexiteer who was said to have been on the verge of quitting. "I am looking forward to continuing to work with all colleagues in government and in Parliament to get the best future for Britain," he told reporters mid-morning.

Another Brexit-supporting minister, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, told CNN he would stay in the Cabinet, and urged fellow Conservative Party lawmakers to support May. "I think that we have to wait until we conclude this process," he said. "I think the Prime Minister deserves the right to put that case to the European Union. I think that the greatest price that could be paid would be to have no Brexit at all."

In a sign of May's weakness, however, she did not deny reports that Gove had snubbed an offer to take up the post of Brexit Secretary, vacated by Dominic Raab in the most significant of Thursday's bombshell resignations. "I had a very good conversation with Michael yesterday," she told LBC Radio.

The specter of a confidence vote still looms over May. A total of 21 Conservative MPs have publicly demanded she step aside, short of the 48 required under party rules to trigger a vote. But more may have made their views known in private to party officials.

If a confidence vote is called, it could take place within a matter of days. If May lost, she would be forced to step down as Prime Minister and Britain's political crisis would get considerably more intense. But if May wins, Conservative Party rules prevent another challenge for a year.

In an attempt to shore up her government, May picked a key ally, Amber Rudd, to replace Esther McVey as Work and Pensions Secretary. Soon after, she appointed Stephen Barclay, formerly a health minister, as Brexit Secretary.

Rudd had resigned as Home Secretary in April after admitting she "inadvertently misled" MPs over deportation targets. A parliamentary report later ruled Rudd had been poorly served by officials.

She urged rebel-minded Conservative MPs to support May. "This is not a time for changing our leader," Rudd said in a pooled broadcast interview. "This is a time for pulling together, for making sure we remember who we are here to serve, who we are here to help -- that's the whole of the country."

Barclay, a Brexit-supporting junior health minister who has never served in the Cabinet before, is a loyalist who has not once voted against the government in parliament. His influence on Brexit negotiations is likely to be limited, as Downing Street announced that it will take the lead in further discussions with the European Union. Barclay will focus instead on getting Britain ready for leaving the European Union on March 29 next year.

It was unclear whether May's opponents within her party would muster enough support over the weekend to force a confidence vote. Conservative Party chief whip Julian Smith -- whose role is to maintain party discipline -- was seen arriving at Downing Street on Friday morning as May seeks to rally support within Conservative ranks.

Appearing on the LBC phone-in Friday morning, May maintained a defiant stance as she sought to sell her Brexit plan.

Asked why she believed she should stay on rather than standing aside to let a Brexiteer lead, she replied: "You're absolutely right that for a lot of people who voted Leave, what they wanted to do was make sure that decisions on things like who can come into this country would be taken by us here in the UK, and not by Brussels, and that's exactly what the deal I've negotiated delivers."

Even if she survives a challenge to her leadership, May must still win approval for her deal from the UK Parliament -- where she lacks a working majority. Few commentators think she has the votes to get her deal through, but all predictions about May's capacity for survival have been wrong so far.

In Brussels, EU officials pressed ahead with preparations for a summit of European leaders on November 25 in to finalize and formalize the agreement. "Things are running on the right track here in Brussels," one diplomat told CNN.

Huntsville
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Florence
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 67°
Fayetteville
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Decatur
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Scottsboro
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22400372
Mobile14282314
Tuscaloosa9983132
Montgomery9691196
Madison899992
Shelby703560
Lee643966
Baldwin637567
Marshall426748
Calhoun410259
Etowah402049
Morgan394532
Houston363132
DeKalb316727
Elmore309552
St. Clair279742
Limestone269227
Walker268092
Talladega255034
Cullman225823
Lauderdale206340
Autauga199928
Franklin199131
Jackson199114
Colbert190627
Russell19023
Dallas185227
Blount183823
Chilton180531
Escambia170928
Covington164729
Coffee16409
Dale162551
Pike130212
Chambers127343
Tallapoosa127286
Clarke126716
Marion104229
Butler99840
Barbour9819
Marengo96721
Winston89913
Geneva8337
Pickens80317
Randolph79514
Lawrence79230
Bibb78913
Hale74529
Cherokee71514
Clay70712
Lowndes69927
Bullock63517
Henry6316
Monroe6279
Washington62112
Crenshaw59030
Perry5796
Wilcox55712
Conecuh55413
Fayette54712
Macon52919
Cleburne5247
Sumter46421
Lamar4575
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 232061

Reported Deaths: 2922
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby34370552
Davidson29801325
Knox1183387
Hamilton11097102
Rutherford11031106
Williamson661848
Sumner5636107
Wilson440253
Putnam411053
Montgomery385751
Out of TN379435
Unassigned37653
Madison361378
Bradley340821
Sullivan318844
Sevier314920
Blount310231
Washington308043
Maury307435
Robertson248539
Hamblen232743
Tipton219222
Gibson205437
Dyer202326
Hardeman178732
Coffee176020
Trousdale17407
Obion163617
Bedford159020
Dickson156218
Wayne15607
Greene155650
Anderson155513
Loudon154010
Fayette152022
McMinn150832
Cumberland148924
Lawrence146217
Jefferson145818
Weakley143425
Carter141532
Henderson135425
Monroe134823
Warren13399
Hardin131319
Lauderdale130818
Macon125724
Franklin121115
Haywood119025
Roane11857
Overton111211
Johnson11046
Hawkins109923
Carroll109324
McNairy108825
White107614
Marshall10528
Rhea104816
Cheatham96911
Lake9683
Smith93313
Bledsoe9244
Cocke92212
Giles89234
Campbell8647
Fentress8497
Lincoln8012
Crockett76620
Henry74110
Hickman73913
Chester71214
Marion6999
DeKalb67216
Decatur62511
Grainger5314
Grundy5168
Claiborne4956
Union4932
Polk46913
Jackson4165
Humphreys4094
Morgan4086
Houston38914
Benton3879
Cannon3862
Unicoi3641
Clay36312
Lewis3502
Sequatchie3294
Scott3244
Stewart3087
Meigs2944
Moore2452
Pickett2445
Perry2041
Van Buren1911
Hancock1123

Community Events