Theresa May urges Tory backbenchers to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of power

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Britain's Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox leaves Downing Street after this morning's cabinet meeting in Westminster, London, Britain, July 10, 2018.

The plan agreed at May's country retreat at Chequers near London last Friday would involve Britain pursuing a "UK-EU free trade area" for goods that would involve regulatory alignment with the EU.

Johnson resigned earlier Monday, less than 24 hours after Brexit Secretary David Davis and junior Brexit minister Steve Baker quit their posts in protest of how May's government is handling Britain's separation from the European Union.

Last Friday, Theresa May met senior ministers to forge a position on Brexit, but despite announcing "cabinet support" for her plan, she was blindsided by two major resignations.

Mr Davis said "the general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one".

In his resignation letter to May, Davis said the policy "hands control of large swathes of our economy to the European Union and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense".

"Frankly, just as it was known what the policy was, it was also known I had concerns about it".

Arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg said he did not believe there would be a vote of confidence in Mrs May by Tory MPs, but called on her to change her Brexit stance as he attacked the Cabinet deal on European Union withdrawal hammered out at a summit at Chequers last week.

Mr Gove said he backed Mrs May's plans "100 per cent".

Arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the powerful European Research Group faction within the Tory ranks, said his resignation should force Mrs May to reconsider her approach.

If a number of would-be leaders are nominated, the list is whittled down to a shortlist of two by MPs before being put to party members in the country. Asked whether he wanted Mrs May to stay in Downing Street, the president said: "I get along with her very well. that's certainly up to the people, not up to me".

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Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen is the first Tory reported to have submitted a letter declaring no confidence in Theresa May.

"I can not support the direction of travel in the Brexit negotiations", she added.

Mrs May is expected to use a Commons statement to tell MPs that the strategy agreed on at Chequers is the "right Brexit" for Britain.

She paid tribute to Mr Johnson's "passion" in championing a global Britain after Brexit and Mr Davis' work in steering through key Brexit legislation. He tweeted the Prime Minister "doesn't have a majority for it and there's no reason why we'd vote for a hard Brexit for services".

Mr Johnson's almost two years as foreign secretary was not without controversy, with the ambitious Tory heavyweight having been accused of undermining Mrs May on more than one occasion - and making headlines for other reasons.

Mr Walker campaigned for Remain in the referendum.

"I think there will be more give and take but I'm not underestimating the challenges".

Within hours, two top officials from the Conservative party - Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield - also quit, warning that close links with Europe after Brexit could trigger a public backlash.

"It is as though we are sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them", Johnson wrote in a letter that underscored his credentials as a champion of full-speed Brexit.

The then-foreign secretary had another head-in-hands moment in May when he was tricked into taking part in an 18-minute phone call with a prankster pretending to be the Armenian prime minister.

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