POLITICS
30/07/2018 14:07 BST | Updated 30/07/2018 15:00 BST

Nearly Half Of Tory Members Think Jeremy Corbyn Will Become Prime Minister Amid Anger Over May’s Brexit Plans

Ex-minister warns party could ‘write itself out of history’

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Theresa May is facing fresh Tory anger over Brexit as a new poll found that nearly half of Conservative members now think Jeremy Corbyn will be Prime Minister after the next general election.

The ConservativeHome website found that 45% of the party’s grassroots think Corbyn will lead a majority or minority government or take the keys to No.10 as part of a coalition.

The number of Tories who think their party will remain in power now stands at 55%, a huge fall of 18% from the 73% recorded last month and the lowest since May’s 2017 snap election blunder.

The survey finding came as former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan warned that the Tories were now “almost irretrievably split” over a “visceral” fault line on the EU – and could be out of office for ever.

“If we fatally undermine our economy or turn a blind eye to its fate during the Brexit process, then the Conservative party will write itself out of the history of the UK,” she said in a blog.

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Former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan

ConservativeHome.com spoke to 1,181 Tory members for the poll, its first study since May’s Chequers Brexit deal sparked the resignation of David Davis and Boris Johnson.

The compromise plan, which aims to avoid trade disruption and a hard border in Northern Ireland, has been attacked by both Brexiteers and Remainers. 

Some Tory backbenchers think the plan ties the UK too closely to the EU, but others warn it will damage business and jobs by failing to keep the country in the single market.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has told Bloomberg that he should be clearer with the public about the risks posed by various Brexit outcomes.

“Should they know whether there are risks from Brexit? Should they be worried about another 2008 from Brexit? We need to be absolutely clear with them [about] the extent to which there are those risks and what we’re doing about it,” he said.

The Prime Minister suffered yet more of a backlash from backbench Eurosceptics as No.10 was forced to reject reports that there were plans to call in the army to provide emergency food and medical supplies in the event of a “no deal” Brexit. 

Her official spokesperson said: “There are no plans to involve the army in a no deal scenario. I can’t be any clearer or firmer than that.”

Downing Street also insisted there was “no delay” in its plans to publicise 70 technical notices on what would happen if the UK quit the EU without a withdrawal agreement or trade deal.

The PM’s spokesman stressed that in the “unlikely” event of a lack of agreement with Brussels, the government was preparing to “implement no deal in an orderly way”.

But as No.10 confirmed that the reports would be published in two batches in August and September, former Brexit minister Steve Baker suggested May had only herself to blame for the confusion and ‘Project Fear’ headlines.

Tory Brexiteers say ministers are failing to talk up the positives of walking away without a deal.

Cabinet source told the Telegraph: “It is designed by Number Ten to do the opposite of what Brexiteers want. We could have made a strong case for no deal and said we were prepared. The way they are presenting it makes it look like Armageddon.

“It is a kamikaze approach to no-deal. The truth is, it’s total chaos. They are deliberately trying to make no-deal look bad.”