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Back-bench Tory MPs call on May to name a date for her resignation

THERESA MAY will face a showdown meeting tomorrow evening with Tory MPs who are demanding that she names a date for her resignation.

Back-bench Conservatives in the influential 1922 Committee have urged her to say exactly when she will quit as Prime Minister in exchange for them to throw their support behind her twice-rejected Brexit deal.

Ms May – who has said she would leave by summer 2022 – cannot have another motion of no confidence tabled against her as Tory leader as she has a year’s immunity since surviving the first one in December.

But naming a resignation date would be her only chance for getting her Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament, as the DUP remain steadfast in their opposition to the “toxic” deal.

If the deal passes by this Friday – the original Brexit date – the EU will delay Brexit to May 22.

If it does not, the EU will delay Brexit to April 12 – at which point the government must choose between leaving without a deal, revoking Article 50 or a “long extension.”

Back-bench Tory MPs fear that could lead to a general election or the referendum result being overridden by Parliament.

MPs will also take part in “indicative votes” tomorrow after they voted in favour of “seizing control” of Commons business.

Alistair Burt, Steve Brine and Richard Harrington quit as government ministers yesterday to support the cross-party amendment which was passed by 329 to 302.

In total, 30 Tory MPs defied the whips to vote for it in another humiliating defeat for Ms May.

The PM faces calls to grant free votes on the “indicative votes,” though none amount to an alternative deal that could pass in Parliament.

The plan for MPs to “take control” of the Commons agenda was led by Tory former minister Sir Oliver Letwin and Labour’s Hilary Benn, chairman of the Brexit select committee.

Mr Benn told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that tomorrow would see MPs vote on a piece of paper for as many of the options as they liked. 

There would then be a similar process next Monday in an effort to narrow down the number of options under consideration.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the government must “take this process seriously.”

But Ms May said she would not feel bound by the results of any indicative votes.

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