Norfolk MP tells Theresa May she must seal Brexit deal then stand down

MP George Freeman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

MP George Freeman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman has said the prime minister should stand down after she has agreed a Brexit deal.

Speaking at an event hosted by The Times in London Mr Freeman said Theresa May needed to 'seal the deal for a new generation and hand the torch to them - and I think the country would cheer.'

He said: 'Let's get the withdrawal agreement over the line [...] let's leave the decision about the end state to be negotiated by Theresa May's successor.'

He added she had inherited 'carnage' and had 'done her very best' but said: 'We should allow her this winter to see through her promise she made to the British people and take us to the gateway.

'But I think hand the baton of future design of our relationship with Europe to a new generation leader.'

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He signalled that whoever takes over from Mrs May should have been involved in the European Union referendum, ruling out figures such as Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.

He said: 'I think it's actually quite difficult for some of the glittering talent we have at the top of our Cabinet to be the force of renewal and I think it needs to be led by somebody with a new mandate.

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'I think anybody who was involved in that referendum campaign, it was a bad campaign on both sides, they are bound by all sorts of promises which shouldn't have been made, they carry the baggage of a terrible process.

'I think we need a new energy, new direction, a new generation leader to take this forward, backed up by the talent that we've got.'

But Mrs May recently said she would lead the Conservatives into the next general election and was in it 'for the long term'.

When asked specifically whether she would fight a leadership bid from former foreign secretary Mr Johnson she said she hoped to fight on as prime minister and added: 'I am in this for the long term. I am in this for delivering for the British people, and that's what I'm focused on.'

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