Having lost two of her most senior Cabinet Ministers, Theresa May went to address her MPs in a stuffy, hot room. But the occasion went off fairly-well for her.
The vast majority of the questions were supportive and even the veteran Eurosceptic Edward Leigh made clear that the 1990s showed that a leadership contest wouldn’t achieve anything. Perhaps, the most hostile moment came towards the end of the session when Philip Davies asked if she regretted how Friday was handled given it appeared like a Remain coup.
Other than Davies, most of the questions were fairly friendly. Former Cabinet Ministers Damian Green, and Patrick McLoughlin were supportive. Maria Caufield, a party vice-chair, was slightly more critical. She said that the party didn’t need a new leader but May needed to convince people out on the doorstep.
Mark Francois, a longtime Eurosceptic, asked about what more might be conceded in the negotiation, saying that in the Downing Street briefing to MPs they hadn’t been able to reassure him on various things. But May loyalists were glad that he was discussing these differences openly, rather than plotting behind closed doors.
All in all then, a fairly good meeting for Theresa May given that two of her most senior Cabinet ministers have resigned over her most important policy in the last 24 hours. With Number 10 having made clear that, unsurprisingly, they won’t abandon the Chequers plan, the question now is what do those Tories opposed to her policy have left in their locker.