Theresa May under pressure after Gove rejects Brexit secretary job:
Theresa may will still sell her Brexit withdrawal deal on Friday, as cupboard minister Michael Gove is understood to be considering quitting.
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said she understood Mr Gove had rejected the PM’s offer to make him Brexit secretary, because Mrs May wouldn’t let him renegotiate the deal.
Dominic Raab quit the role on Thursday over “fatal flaws” in the agreement.
Mrs May says the deal “delivers what people voted for”.
But she was warned by one of her own backbenchers that it was “dead on arrival” and would never get the backing of MPs.
The government unveiled its long-awaited draft withdrawal agreement on Wednesday, which sets out the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU, over 585 pages.
The prime minister will answer callers’ questions about the plan on LBC radio on Friday morning.
Asked about Mr Gove on Thursday, Mrs May said he was doing “an excellent job” as environment secretary, adding: “I haven’t appointed a new Dexeu [Department for Exiting the European Union] secretary yet and I will be making appointments to the government in due course.”
But the BBC understands Mr Gove, a leading Leave figure during the EU referendum, rejected her offer to make him Brexit secretary, saying he would only accept it if he could try to make changes to the negotiated deal – something Mrs May and EU leaders have made clear is not possible.
Mr Gove is said to have been key to getting backing for Mrs May’s deal at a lengthy cabinet meeting on Wednesday – during which a number of ministers expressed doubts.
Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey both went on to quit over the agreement.