Michael Gove and Liam Fox have said they will continue serving in Theresa May’s cabinet, after stating they had confidence in the Prime Minister and the future of Brexit.
Environment secretary Gove had been widely tipped as the Prime Minister’s next major resignation after eight ministers, MPs and officials quit over Downing Street’s draft Brexit agreement yesterday. He confirmed in a statement this morning that he will remain in his post at Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
When asked if he had confidence in May, Gove said: "I absolutely do."
"I think it's absolutely vital that we focus on getting the right deal in the future, and making sure that in the areas that matter so much to the British people, we can get a good outcome," he continued.
A Downing Street spokesperson is reported to have told a lobby briefing that May is "very pleased that he will continue doing the important work he is doing there".
Shortly after, international trade secretary Liam Fox reiterated the same message to reporters.
"We are not elected to do what we want. We are elected to do what is in the national interest, and ultimately I hope that across parliament we will recognise that a deal is better than no deal," said Fox.
"Businesses do require certainty and confidence as they go forward for their planning, and there are those around the world who are waiting to get certainty also to begin to discuss trade agreements with the United Kingdom. It is in our national interest."
Meanwhile, The Sunday Times cited a source suggesting that fellow cabinet members Penny Mordaunt, Andrea Leadsom and Chris Grayling will also stay, with plans to improve upon May's Brexit deal.
BREAKING: Gove, Fox, Grayling, Mordaunt and Leadsom have agreed collectively to stay and will work together “to get this in a better place” says a vg source. “Resigning and joining a rebellion is not going to help anything”.
— Tim Shipman (@ShippersUnbound) November 16, 2018
The news comes after 20 MPs submitted letters of no confidence to Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee.