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Prime Minister under pressure to resign from Kent MPs - live updates

The Prime Minister is under growing pressure to resign as Kent MPs have called for her to step aside.

Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat has called for her to stand down, saying "leadership matters and it has been absent for too long".

This evening, the leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, has resigned from the government saying: "I no longer believe that our approach will deliver on the referendum result."

Follow our live blog below for the latest on the details coming out of Westminster and how it affects the county.

Prime Minister Theresa May is under growing pressure to resign
Prime Minister Theresa May is under growing pressure to resign

LIVE UPDATES - click refresh for the latest posts

7.41pm

In her resignation letter, Andrea Leadsom said: "I no longer believe that our approach will deliver on the referendum result."

7.40pm

BREAKING NEWS: Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House of Commons, has resigned from the government.

7.06pm

It appears the Prime Minister has staved off a coup this evening, with the Prime Minister expected to meet the chair of the 1922 committee of backbench MPs Sir Graham Brady on Friday. There has been no change of rules allowing the Conservatives to make a second vote of no confidence in her leadership with a year.

6.39pm

It is understood Tory MPs have been told the Prime Minister does not intend to resign in the next few hours. Her chief whip has been to meet the influential 1922 committee of backbench MPs which was discussing whether to change Conservative Party rules to allow a vote of no confidence in her. They have decided against that - but Theresa May will meet with the chair of that committee on Friday.

6.27pm

Meanwhile, as all this is going on, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has been on the campaign trail in Kent ahead of the EU elections tomorrow. Rumour has it he did not get off the Brexit bus because he was concerned there may be some people in the crowd with milkshakes, although our reporters on the scene, who interviewed the former Ukip leader and South East MEP, seemed to think the suggestion was a load of froth.

Nigel Farage speaks to KMTV on his Brexit Party bus

6.09pm

Just to round up the Conservatives so far who have said they would not back the Prime Minister's Withdrawal Agreement Bill if it is put to a vote in Parliament, they are:

  • Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke
  • South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay
  • Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti have all said they will not back

Although he has backed the Prime Minister's Brexit deal on every vote so far, we can presumable add Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat to that list given his call today for the Prime Minister to resign.

5.55pm

Wow! It is getting serious. Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat has pulled no punches in an article for the Financial Times calling on the Prime Minister to stand down. It does not get any more blatant than that from the former Army officer and chair of the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee, who is tipped as an outside candidate in the leadership race to succeed Mrs May.

Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat
Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat

5.45pm

Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chisti has joined the growing group of Kent MPs who have said they will not back the Prime Minister's Withdrawal Agreement Bill - effectively a fourth attempt at getting her Brexit deal with the EU through Parliament. Here's what he had to say:

5.44pm

Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield, the county's only Labour MP, has painted a picture of the atmosphere in Westminster with this tweet.

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