London: Theresa May will be met with silence on Monday rather than the traditional banging of desks by Conservative MPs as she is told to show “humility and contrition” in the wake of the party’s disastrous election performance.
The Prime Minister will this evening attend a meeting of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, where she will be told she must abandon “poisonous” manifesto pledges and change her style of government.
MPs will demand that the Prime Minister takes a far more “collegiate” approach in future and consults back-benchers more extensively about policies before launching them.
She is likely to be saved, however, by Eurosceptic MPs who believe that it is vital the Prime Minister stays in post so that Brexit negotiations can begin.
Nigel Evans, joint secretary of the 1922 Committee, said: “There has got to be more inclusivity as far as the 1922 is concerned. It has got to be cabinet government with proper collective responsibility and inclusivity.
“The atmosphere will be stern. A number of us will have spoken to MPs who have lost their seats and whose dreams will be shattered. MPs will expect humility. Normally there is a banging of desks, this time there will be a banging of heads.
“It has to be a totally new start. Some of the stuff that was in the manifesto like the poisonous social welfare stuff has got to be ditched. It’s not just rearranging the deckchairs, a new approach will be absolutely essential. She can do it, all she needs to do is want to do it.”
A series of pro-European MPs on Sunday said that Mrs May will have to resign as Prime Minister, with George Osborne, the former chancellor, describing her as a “dead woman walking”.
Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, both former ministers, suggested that Mrs May will have no choice but to resign.
However, Eurosceptic MPs have rallied around her. Bernard Jenkin, a leading figure in the campaign to leave the European Union, said: “I would like to remind a few of my colleagues if you keep rocking the boat, then Corbyn will be in power.”
Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader, hit back at Ms Morgan, saying: “Nicky Morgan’s thought there would be a leadership challenge ever since she didn’t stand. With respect to Nicky Morgan, she still thinks she’s going to be prime minister.”
Dominic Raab, a Conservative MP, accused Mr Osborne of being “disloyal, unprofessional and pretty self-indulgent” by continually sniping at Mrs May from the sidelines.
Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, said: “There’s no doubt that we need to see a much more open and inclusive approach within government and within parliament as well. That’s not just a desirable outcome, it’s an absolute necessity in these circumstances.
“Trying to make a hung parliament and a minority government work requires a much more inclusive approach and bringing people into the decision-making process.
“One of the things I’ve said to the Prime Minister is it’s very important that she speaks to colleagues as soon as possible.”
He said he had sought to bring forward the meeting of the 1922 Committee from tomorrow to today “so that she can talk to MPs about that deal [with the DUP].”