British Prime Minister Theresa May was given the cold shoulder by US President Donald Trump - but her own colleagues had worst to say.
British Prime Minister Theresa May was given the cold shoulder by US President Donald Trump - but her own colleagues had worst to say.

Theresa May faces one of her biggest challenges yet

BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May is about to face one of her toughest weeks yet - and she does so knowing her allies and colleagues have their knives sharpened.

Mrs May is hoping to win a series of key votes in parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday that would secure passage of her flagship Brexit legislation. If she fails, it could be seen as vote of no confidence and her own position as prime minister may be under threat.

Things have gotten so bad her own MP/s are telling media: "She's f****d."

At the same time, she is returning from the G7 meeting in Canada where Donald Trump - the leader of a country that supposedly has a "special relationship with the UK - brutally snubbed her.

First Mr Trump didn't meet with Mrs May and then when asked about close relationships with the other six leaders attending the summit he named three of them, leaving Mrs May out.

"I would say that the level of relationships is a 10," he said of the leaders.

Many observers are now speculating he views Mrs May as somewhere beneath them.

But it is at home where she has the biggest trouble brewing.

 

British Prime Minister Theresa May is not close to US President Donald Trump.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is not close to US President Donald Trump.

 

Her Conservative party is split about how best to pursue Brexit and even her own Cabinet Ministers are openly criticising the way she has handled divorce negotiations with the EU.

At the weekend it was reported she came close to a coup as senior ministers threatened to walk out of her government because they were unhappy with her Brexit plan.

In the end, she and her Brexit Secretary David Davis reached a compromise and the mass quitting was thwarted. But the danger remains.

According to a report in The Sunday Times, Conservative MPs are planning to oust her as early as next month as soon as the Brexit law is passed.

"Last week was a dress rehearsal," one said, while another vowed: "She thinks she has won. She's f****d anyway, she's toast."

Others said there was no doubt she would be dumped before the next election, as colleagues are "waking up" to her negotiating position.

Some were more brutal.

A former minister told the Sunday Times: "She looks terrible. She is extraordinarily ill-equipped to lead. We are becoming an international laughing stock. It's on a hair trigger now."

In a recording obtained by BuzzFeed news, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was quoted as telling Conservative party donors that May's government is ready to start playing hardball with the EU, just three weeks before Brexit is discussed among European leaders.

 

Mrs May will be feeling caged by her colleagues after some of their public statements.
Mrs May will be feeling caged by her colleagues after some of their public statements.

 

"I think Theresa is going to go into a phase where we are much more combative with Brussels," Johnson said. "You've got to face the fact there may now be a meltdown. OK? I don't want anybody to panic during the meltdown. No panic. ... It's going to be all right in the end."

In the tape, he could be heard saying Mr Trump would do a better job securing Brexit than Mrs May.

"He'd go in bloody hard… There'd be all sorts of breakdowns, all sorts of chaos. Everyone would think he'd gone mad. But actually you might get somewhere. It's a very, very good thought."

Mrs May refused to sack him, even though the comments clearly undermined her Brexit strategy.

 

andrew.koubaridis@news.com.au


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