In Brief

Replace Theresa May with Michael Gove, says top Tory donor

Environment Secretary emerging as frontrunner to succeed prime minister and unite Tories

Michael Gove should replace Theresa May as prime minister, a major Tory party donor has publically stated.

Crispin Odey, a hedge fund manager who backed the Leave campaign, said May had shown she cannot “carry Brexit through” and claimed only the environment secretary had the skills to make a success of Britain’s exit from the EU and appeal to voters.

“He’s the only minister who is still being a minister,” Odey said. “Michael has got lots of attributes that make him a non-traditional Tory. He is very aware that he has to appeal not just to the wealthy, but also more broadly”.

The intervention is “a stark sign of the frustration among prominent Brexit supporters over the government’s handling of negotiations with the EU”, says The Guardian, which reports a growing sense both within the Tory party and across Westminster that the former Vote Leave figurehead is the best placed minister to deliver a successful Brexit and lead the party out of its current malaise.

Last month Gove spoke at the opening of a new progressive conservative think tank, Onward, alongside Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who has also been widely talked up as a future leader of the Tory party.

This led many to position the pair as a “Tory dream ticket”, and speculate that they had struck a deal to install Gove as an interim prime minister before making way for Davidson in time for the 2022 general election.

Last month, The Sun said as many as 30 MPs were trying to gather support for the “plot”.

It represents a remarkable turnaround for Gove, says the BBC . His botched attempt to succeed David Cameron after the referendum was widely condemned, but he has since enjoyed something of a renaissance as environment secretary.

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