Former minister Anna Soubry warns Brexit will split Tory party if Theresa May doesn't stand up to arch Brexiteers

Catherine Neilan
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Former business minister Anna Soubry has warned that Brexit could end up splitting the Conservative party, unless Theresa May "stands up" to a minority of hard-line Eurosceptics.

The backbencher, who has long argued the UK should remain in the Single Market and customs union after Brexit, told the BBC last night the front bench was "in hock" to around 35 "ideological Brexiteers who are not Tories".

The Broxtowe MP added: "They are not the Tory party I joined 40 years ago and it is about time Theresa stood up to them and slung 'em out. They have taken down Major, they took down Cameron, two great leaders neither of whom stood up to them."

She warned that she and many others would leave the party if the Prime Minister didn't act soon.

"If it comes to it I am not going to stay in a party which has been taken over by the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson. They are not proper Conservatives," Soubry said last night. "Unless Theresa stands up and sees off these people she is in real danger of losing huge swathes of not just the parliamentary party but the Conservative party."

Soubry is the latest in a long line of Tory MPs to make their frustrations at May's leadership clear.

Last month, Nicholas Soames blasted the government for its "dull, dull, dull" policies, while others have compared the party to a bus teetering on the edge of a cliff.

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