Tories at risk of being overtaken by ‘divisive and populist movement’, MPs say

By Alexander Britton, Press Association

The Conservative party faces the risk of being “overtaken by a divisive and populist movement” after being divided by Brexit, a group of Tory MPs have said.

The One Nation caucus of Conservative MPs – which includes Nicky Morgan, Sir Nicholas Soames and George Freeman – said Theresa May’s successor as Prime Minister needs to unite both Remainers and Leavers.

In a letter published on guardian.co.uk, the group said: “We have all seen the growing tide of extremism gripping the Republican party in America.

“We would be naive to think something similar couldn’t happen in this country. In many places, it already has.”

EU Withdrawal Agreement: how MPs voted on March 29 (PA Graphics)

The letter added that the nation – and the Conservative party – was “at a crossroads”.

“The next prime minister must redefine Brexit as a One Nation project. If they do not, the door will be wide open for Britain’s first-ever Marxist government and a likely decade of decline,” it said.

Cross-party discussions over the Withdrawal Agreement Bill between the Tories and Labour collapsed on Friday, with Mrs May set to call a fourth vote on the subject next month.

Regardless of how the vote goes, she will then meet the chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, to agree a timetable to elect her successor as party leader, paving the way for her departure from No 10.