A Lot Of Tories Are Furious With The Telegraph For Singling Out "Brexit Mutineers" In Their Party

    "Other than looking like an incredibly disappointing line-up for the new series of I'm A Celebrity, [it] simply shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the issue," said one MP pictured on the paper's front page.

    This is the Daily Telegraph's front page on Wednesday. Headlined "The Brexit mutineers", the story highlights 15 Tory MPs who are "threatening to block" Theresa May's plans for Brexit.

    Tomorrow's Daily Telegraph front page: The Brexit mutineers #TomorrowsPapersToday


    The group of MPs includes former chancellor Ken Clarke, former education secretary Nicky Morgan, former justice secretary Dominic Grieve, and chair of the liaison committee Sarah Wollaston.

    They are picked out by the Telegraph for opposing a government move to enshrine the date of Brexit in law – which they have warned could scupper a good deal if negotiations go on longer than expected and the process needs to be extended.

    The newspaper claims that their stance is "giving rise to accusations of a 'mutiny' that threatens to wipe out the prime minister’s majority and plunge the party into crisis".

    But as soon as the splash became public on Tuesday night, the so-called mutineers hit back, saying they would not be bullied.


    Sarah Wollaston told BuzzFeed News: "We're just doing our jobs. I'm voting to 'take back control' for parliament, not for a tiny handful of government insiders to railroad any change they like to legislation without scrutiny."

    Peter Byrne / PA Archive/PA Images

    And Tory MP Paul Masterton, also featured on the front page, told us that the story demonstrated a "fundamental misunderstanding" of the debate.

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    "I'm a Scottish Conservative, so reading overblown headlines about myself is part of the job," he told BuzzFeed News. "This one, other than looking like an incredibly disappointing line-up for the new series of I'm A Celebrity, simply shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the issue.

    "We are leaving the EU in March 2019, so this is not about if, or when, we leave the EU – those things are settled. It's about how. We want the government to be in the strongest possible position to bring home the best deal.

    "Putting the date on the bill jeopardises that, and it's disappointing that those who argued most strongly for Brexit are the ones most keen to see the government tie its own hands."

    Another "mutineer", Antoinette Sandbach, said she refused to be "lobby fodder" for the government.

    Tory MP Heidi Allen told the Telegraph bluntly: "Bring it on."


    Allen was warned by fellow Tory MP Nadine Dorries, who campaigned for Britain to leave the EU, that she was actually "destabilising the government".

    But most Tory MPs on Twitter leapt to the defence of the "mutineers", including this foreign office minister.


    Brexit minister Steve Baker accused the Telegraph of attempting to "divide" the Conservative party.


    And he was backed by environment secretary and prominent Leave campaigner Michael Gove.


    Business minister Margot James also said the newspaper was out of order.


    Theresa May's policy chief said it was "depressingly tabloid".


    Senior Labour MPs also rallied round the rebel Tory MPs.


    And others were just grateful to the Telegraph for highlighting the Conservative MPs fighting for change.


    However, the Sun's editor, Tony Gallagher, defended the Telegraph's front page.


    As did pro-Brexit campaign group Leave.EU.


    Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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