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‘Dancing Theresa May’ urges unity for Brexit talks

‘Dancing Theresa May’ urges unity for Brexit talks

"If we all go off in different directions in pursuit of our own vision of the ideal Brexit, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all", she warned a Conservative party beset by internal bickering.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister walked on stage at the Conservative Party conference dancing along to the tune of ABBA's Dancing Queen in front of delegates.

May's rival and Brexit critic, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, shared his vision of a post-Brexit Britain on Tuesday, during a speech in which he said the government should be cutting taxes to stimulate investment.

His big speech was bookended by protestations that, yes, Philip Hammond was right and he will never be Prime Minister, and that Tories should "softly, quietly and sensibly" back Theresa May to "chuck Chequers" in favour of her "original plan".

"I saw that and I thought, Brexit is clearly already taking effect because it has limited her freedom of movement".

In her address to the party this week, Mrs May called for unity, and said all sides needed to compromise over Brexit, or they could put Britain's withdrawal from the European Union at risk. In an upbeat message to activists and voters, she declared: "If we come together, there is no limit to what we can achieve".

Addressing the final day of this year's Conservative conference in Birmingham, May said Britain was entering the "toughest phase" of divorce negotiations with the EU. "We have had disagreements in this party about Britain's membership of the European Union for a long time. But if we stick together and hold our nerve I know we can get a deal that delivers for Britain".

"Politicians telling people they got it wrong the first time and should try again. think for a moment what it would do to faith in our democracy", she said, referring to the "latest plan of holding a second referendum" which was called "People's Vote".




The heat she faces from some in the party was underlined less than an hour before her speech when Conservative lawmaker James Duddridge said he had submitted a letter calling on her to resign.

Ahead of his conference appearance, he was pictured out jogging, in what some interpreted as a "parody" of Mrs May's claim that the "naughtiest" thing she did as a child was to run through a field of wheat.

She also signalled a loosening of the national purse strings for a new cancer-detection strategy and a boost for housebuilding.

People are entitled to express their view at fringe meetings, he said, but predicted people would be "rallying behind" Mrs May when she delivers her speech.

These are all important ways in which we're dealing day to day with the issues that make a real difference to people's lives.

"It was a great speech, he was optimistic, he talked about Conservative values, and he talked about the opportunities if we do Brexit properly", Richard Tice, co-chairman of campaign group Leave means Leave, said after Johnson's speech.

Namechecking Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister from 1979 to 1990 who remains a hero to many in the party, he called on the party to build more houses and, while courting business, he struck out at bankers over the 2008 financial crisis.