Third of Tory Members Believe May Secretly Wants UK to Stay in EU

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More than a third of Tory Party members believe that Prime Minister Theresa May wants to keep the UK inside the European Union (EU).

According to a poll by YouGov, 53 per cent of Tories believe Mrs. May when she says she wants Britain to leave the EU, but 35 per cent think she is misleading the public, and quietly still wants to the UK to stay inside the bloc.

A whopping 61 per cent of Tory members believe Chancellor Philip Hammond, who has advocated for a “soft Brexit”, still wants Britain to stay in the EU. Almost half (48 per cent) said the same about Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is believed to be the strongest believer in Brexit by Tory members, with 89 per cent convinced he wants to take the UK out of the EU.

Brexit Secretary David Davis (82 per cent), Environment Secretary Michael Gove (81 per cent), International Trade Secretary Liam Fox (71 per cent), and leading backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg (75 per cent) are also backed as authentic Brexiteers by members.

However, large proportions of the Tory membership (40 to 48 per cent) are unclear on whether Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Education Secretary Justine Greening, and Cabinet Office minister Damian Green want Britain to remain or leave the EU.

The prime minister is currently under pressure to step down as leader, with a former party chairman claiming 30 MPs are preparing to call on her to depart. A major donor has also said it is time for her to go.

According to a separate YouGov poll, Boris Johnson, regarded as the most committed Brexiteer, is the favourite to replace her, suggesting leaving the EU is a high priority for Tory members.

Matthew Smith, a data journalist with YouGov, wrote in The Times: “Conservative members are overwhelmingly convinced of their desire to see Brexit carried out.”

“When it comes to those MPs who backed Remain, however, party members are far less sure of their intentions,” he added.