“It’s been coming for a while,” Bedford Conservatives respond to Theresa May’s resignation

Cllr Stephen Moon PNL-140107-130319001
Cllr Stephen Moon PNL-140107-130319001

Theresa May will be remembered for her Brexit “failure” according to Bedford Borough’s Conservatives.

The Prime Minister announced the timetable today for her imminent departure as both PM and Tory leader this morning.

But while senior councillor Stephen Moon expressed sympathy for Mrs May, he was matter-of-fact in saying her premiership would not be remembered as a success.

Cllr Moon told the Times & Citizen: “It’s sad, but it’s been coming for some time. It’s been caused by has Brexit, and it’s not easy to see what’s going to change so long as the Parliamentary numbers remain the same.

“Mrs May has found it impossible to get Brexit deal through Parliament, and I can’t see that changing just because there is a new party leader as Prime Minister.

“However I don’t think that a general election is inevitable. I don’t think either of the two main political parties are enthusiastic about having one, and they would both need to agree to hold an election before the end of the five-year term of this Parliament.”

Mr Moon was leader of the Conservative group at Bedford Borough Council for seven years until earlier this month.

But while he said it was clear that Mrs May have lost the confidence of her fellow Tories, he had little positive to say about hardline Brexiteer MPs.

Cllr Moon said: “She’s going to be remembered for her failure to get Brexit through. I think that’s what her premiership was always about, and it’s what destroyed her premiership. She came up with plans and they were not considered adequate by enough MPs.

“But in my opinion the extreme Brexiteers who are most to blame for this whole mess. And they may well end up further from the result that they actually want.

“They wanted the ‘big bang’ Brexit - is that really likely now?”

Conservative MP Alistair Burt also admitted that Brexit had been a key factor in Mrs May’s rule and fall.

He said: “Prime Minister Theresa May made a resignation statement this morning of great dignity and honesty. I think she deserves the thanks of the nation for taking on the always heavy duty of being Prime Minister, but even more for doing so at a time when her task was almost impossible, and during a period when so many obstacles were placed against her.

“Today is not the day for a full analysis, simply to reflect that with Brexit sucking the oxygen from so much, her ambitions in tackling the UK’s difficult social issues were left less fulfilled than she would have wished, but she will still have successes and improvements to her name. I am proud to have served in her government, and thank her for all she has done.

“The Conservative Party will now get on quickly with finding a new leader not just for itself, but for my constituents and beyond. I will give the process every attention, so we choose someone who is not solely defined by Brexit, but who will listen and deliver on the wider needs of the country in the years to come.”

Mid Beds MP Nadine Dorries has also been approached for comment.