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The Prime Minister’s husband Philip May took a leading role in the campaign to save his wife’s premiership, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
With fear of a defeat so great inside Downing Street last week that Mrs May drafted a resignation statement, Mr May was a central figure at crisis meetings held by worried aides.
Tuesday - Evening - Westminster - Rumours - Sir
On Tuesday evening, Westminster lit up with the rumours that backbench steward Sir Graham Brady was preparing to announce that the crucial 48-letter threshold for a confidence vote in the Prime Minister’s leadership had been reached.
However, Mrs May was in the air after a whistlestop tour of the Netherlands, Germany and Brussels, leaving her financier partner of 38 years to take charge of initial ‘wargaming’ meetings held in her No 10 study.
Street - Officials - Chancellor - Philip - Hammond
Downing Street officials joke that the Chancellor Philip Hammond is ‘only the second most powerful Philip in government’ but, as Mrs May’s grip on power slips, she has come to rely on the ‘first husband’ to an unprecedented degree.
Widely seen as her trusted confidant and ‘rock’, it is understood that Mr May, 61, has taken on an unparalleled role as an unofficial adviser and strategist to the PM.
Tuesday - Crunch - Planning - Session - Mr
At Tuesday’s crunch planning session, Mr May announced that his wife should address the backbench 1922 Committee of Tory MPs the following afternoon in a rapid response to the attempt to oust her from Downing Street.
He argued it was best to ‘go fast’ with the vote rather than let the leadership question stew over a number of days, overshadowing the PM’s Brussels summit on Thursday and allowing her opponents more time to organise.
Advisers - Meeting - Mrs - May - Chief
He was unanimously backed by her official advisers in a half-hour meeting held before Mrs May and her chief of staff Gavin Barwell – who would normally chair such meetings – arrived from RAF Northolt at...
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