Text-it exit in middle of Brexit row

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is battling Tory MPs who are furious her Brexit proposals are too soft and Labour opponents who argue they are too hard, has had to accept another ministerial resignation.

By Amit Roy in London
  • Published 16.07.18
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Theresa May

London: British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is battling Tory MPs who are furious her Brexit proposals are too soft and Labour opponents who argue they are too hard, has had to accept another ministerial resignation.

The departure of Andrew Griffiths, parliamentary under-secretary of state for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, is not over policy differences but because he has admitted sending no fewer than 2,000 "depraved" sex texts to a 28-year-old barmaid and her friend.

In one message, he described himself as "Daddy" and asks the recipient to take her undergarments off, adding that "you've got Daddy in a frenzy".

Among his activities as a minister, 47-year-old Griffiths, who is married with a young child, led the government's response this year to findings of the Hampton-Alexander Review into gender equality at the top of business.

In a statement he said he was "deeply ashamed" and was seeking "professional help to ensure it never happens again".

May has more serious issues on her mind.

In an interview on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC TV on Sunday, the Prime Minister revealed Donald Trump had advised her to take legal action against the EU during the Brexit negotiations.

She addressed her Tory critics in an article in the Mail on Sunday: "My message to the country this weekend is simple: we need to keep our eyes on the prize. If we don't, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all.

"I am yet to see a workable alternative future trading arrangement that would deliver on our commitments to Northern Ireland, preserve the constitutional integrity of the UK and deliver on the result of the referendum."

While The Daily Telegraph appears to have come to the view that the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson should replace May as Prime Minister - he is resuming his column in the paper from Monday and also planning to make a "bombshell" resignation statement in the Commons - some Tory MPs want the Brexit policy changed rather than their leader.

Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has issued a fresh warning to May to change tack on her blueprint for leaving the EU -- or see her party split.

Rees-Mogg, the leader of the influential European Research Group of Conservative MPs, said the Prime Minister had given too much ground to Brussels in the Brexit talks.

While he played down the prospect of an immediate leadership challenge, he expressed concern that May is "a Remainer who has remained a Remainer".

Former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair urged Remainers and Brexiteers to come together to defeat May's plan.