Letters: Why frustrated Conservatives are going to vote for the Brexit Party


European elections will be hard for Britain's governing Conservatives, their education minister said on Sunday, after the party slumped into fourth place in an opinion poll and a new Brexit Party took top spot.

"Many Conservatives, most Conservatives, want to leave the European Union and would prefer to leave on WTO terms, the so-called no-deal exit, and therefore they don't feel that they should go out and support the Tories on this occasion".

Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the European Research Group of Tories, appealed for disillusioned Conservatives to stick with the party for the sake of Theresa May's replacement.

The shadow Brexit secretary has demanded a second referendum, as cross-party Brexit talks continue.

But other ministers said now was not the time to force May out, arguing her departure would do little to change the arithmetic in parliament, which has already rejected her deal three times.

May is safe from another confidence motion until December following last year's botched coup attempt, but the '22 could change its rules to allow another challenge. "So yes, I think we will get an absolute mauling".

The government is continuing to talk to the Labour party about progress in the Brexit process, and those cross-party talks are due to continue on Monday.

Asked whether he expected a Tory humiliation, Mr Evans said: "Humiliation?"

Meanwhile in a separate speech to the Fabian Society, Mr Watson pleaded with supporters to back Labour in next week's European elections.

The Prime Minister is set to come under intense pressure at a Cabinet meeting this morning to abandon talks with Jeremy Corbyn, which have dragged on for six weeks without any sign of a breakthrough.

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Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said another vote will be a "betrayal" and described the talks as being in a "crunch week".

He said: "I've wanted a deal".

According to the latest Opinium poll for The Observer newspaper, the Brexit Party is well ahead with 34% of the vote.

McDonnell, Labour's financial spokesman and a member of the party's negotiating team, said the situation was precarious.

Last month Jeremy Corbyn saw off an attempt to commit the party to a confirmatory referendum on any Brexit deal, and Labour will instead only back a fresh vote only if it can not either win the changes it wants to Mrs May's deal or secure a general election.

"And people feel that if they vote Conservative they will be saying they are accepting Mrs May's deal and Mrs May's leadership".

Tory MP Huw Merriman suggested the Conservative Party was on course for an "absolute mauling" in the European elections on 23 May as they face a "perfect storm" of anger from both sides of the Brexit debate.

One minister said: 'Talking to Corbyn is killing us with the party in the country.

Speaking to the BBC's Westminster Hour programme, he said: "They are going to be tricky".