British Parliament members of the ruling Conservative Party say they have lost their confidence in Prime Minister David Cameron, calling on him to quit over what they call Brexit lies.
The MPs called for a general election to be held before Christmas, further fueling the Brexit debate less than a month before a crucial referendum decides Britain’s future in the European Union (EU).
Tory MPs Andrew Bridgen and Nadine Dorries said Sunday that Cameron had effectively lost his parliamentary support after resorting to “lies” and “outrageous” claims in his bid to persuade British voters to back remaining in the EU during the June 23 vote.
“The party is fairly fractured, straight down the middle and I don’t know which character could possibly pull it back together going forward for an effective government. I honestly think we probably need to go for a general election before Christmas and get a new mandate from the people,” Bridgen said.
At least 50 MPs – the number needed to call a confidence vote – were on the same train, Bridgen revealed, adding that a vote on the prime minister’s future was “probably highly likely” after the referendum.
Dorries went even further in his criticism of the premier, telling ITV on Sunday that she had already submitted a letter of no confidence to the chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 committee.
“[Cameron] has lied profoundly, and I think that is actually really at the heart of why Conservative MPs have been so angered. To say that Turkey is not going to join the European Union as far as 30 years is a lie,” Dorries said.
Cameron said earlier in May that Turkey was making little to no progress in implementing EU standards and therefore “it would be decades, literally decades, before this even had a prospect of happening.”
He has also warned that leaving the EU would cost Britain billions of pounds and put its security at risk.
According to Dorries, the Remain campaign’s decisive win in the referendum was vital for Cameron to survive. “If remain win by a narrow majority, or if leave win, he’s toast within days.”
Meanwhile, Chris Grayling, the UK justice secretary, downplayed the possibility of an early election, saying the rebel MPs would not get enough support for that purpose.
The fiery criticism came shortly after the release of a scathing open letter by Tory MP Boris Johnson, and Justice Secretary Michael Gove, two firm Brexit backers, who described as “corrosive” the Prime Minister’s failure to keep his promise to bring migration levels down.