Business Minister suggests ERG MPs join Farage's Brexit Party

In a dramatic intervention, Business Minister Richard Harrington has claimed that pro-Brexit Tory MPs that form the European Research Group should join Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party.

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Harrington, who is dead-set against a No Deal Brexit, has told PoliticsHome: “The Prime Minister has done a pretty good job of standing up to the ERG until now, but they were drinking champagne to celebrate her losing her deal and I regard that as being treachery.

“I read that Nigel Farage is setting up a new party called Brexit and if I were them I’d be looking at that, because that seems to reflect their views more than the Conservative Party. In my view, they’re not Conservatives.

“There are people who are very solid and stringent in their views and if I were them I would be looking at a party that seems designed for them – Nigel Farage’s party.”

It comes on the evening that many ERG MPs abstained on, with a few voting against, the government’s way forward on Brexit that included avoiding No Deal.

As senior ERG MP Mark Francois stated before the vote: “We cannot vote for this as it is currently configured because it rules out No Deal and removes our negotiating leverage in Brussels.

“The Prime Minister, if she went through the lobbies for this tomorrow night, would be voting against the guarantees she has given in the Commons for months (No Deal still on table). It is madness.”

Why would a Conservative Minister urge pro-Brexit MPs to join another party? What the hell is going on at the top of Theresa May’s government?