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Grantham MP calls for Theresa May to go before election

Grantham MP Nick Boles has called on Theresa May to stand down as prime minister before the next election.

Mr Boles said as soon as Brexit happens on March 29, the prime minister should preparing the time of her departure, giving a successor time to prove themselves.

The MP told Sophy Ridge of Sky News: “We’re definitely going to need new faces, new ideas and leadership before the next election.”

“I think it should be up to Theresa May to decide precisely when she wants to hand over.”

“My own view is that it can’t be just before the next election. There needs to be a decent period of time for them (a successor) to be able to demonstrate their new approach, new ideas that they will deliver for the British people."

He added: "I would hope that she would see mission completed on 29 March as the time to start thinking about when it is that she wants to hand over to a successor."

Mr Boles also said he has spoken to 6 or 8 cabinet members about his own alternative to Theresa May’s Brexit plans.

"What I'm suggesting is we should move into a position a bit like Norway where we're in the common market that binds Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein with the EU - it's called the European Economic Area.

"And we join something called the European Free Trade Association and we go into a temporary customs union with the EU until we find new arrangements that satisfy the border requirements to the satisfaction of the Republic of Ireland and the EU."

Mr Boles said the UK would then be "in the single market, in a temporary customs union, but we'd be outside lots of things that we don't like about the EU."

The Grantham MP’s comments came the day before a Conservative Home survey of Tory members showed more than half want Theresa May to stand down immediately, with a further 30 per cent wanting her gone before the next election, due in 2022. Just 18 per cent wanted her to stay, the survey published yesterday.

Today, the Conservative Home website also reported Boris Johnson was favoured successor, backed by almost a quarter of Conservative party members.

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