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Plot to overthrow Prime Minister Theresa May 'overblown' says Ashford MP Damian Green

By Paul Francis

An MP has said he would be “amazed and appalled” if there was a challenge to Theresa May amid reports that discontented backbenchers are plotting to oust her.

Ashford MP Damian Green, an ally of the PM, said reports of plots were "overblown".

His comments come amid reports that about 50 Conservative MPs disillusioned with progress on Brexit are openly debating a leadership challenge.

Damian Green MP
Damian Green MP

The MPs belong to the the European Research Group (ERG) and some of the county’s MPs are known to be - or have been members - although it is not known whether any attended last night’s meeting.

They include Dover MP Charlie Elphicke and South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay.

Mr Green said: “I think these reports are a touch overblown.

"At any time in the history of any party, you will find that on important issues MPs question the leader and this is a hugely important time and tensions are running high.

“I would be appalled and amazed if anyone came out with a challenge to the Prime Minister, particularly at a time when we are in negotiations over Brexit. The vast majority of MPs just want us to get on with it.”

Prime Minister Theresa May is said to be facing a leadership challenge from backbenchers
Prime Minister Theresa May is said to be facing a leadership challenge from backbenchers

Asked if the PM would be able to reach a consensus on the Chequers deal when different factions within the party wanted opposing things, he said: “In any negotiation, there is always the likelihood that not everyone will get what they want.”

KentOnline has contacted both Mr Elphicke and Mr Mackinlay but neither has replied.

The ERG is an alliance made up of a group of backbench Conservative MPs who lobby on issues surrounding Brexit. Since January it has been chaired by prominent Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg.

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