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'Hate the sin, love the sinner' - Why Tories who dislike Theresa May's Chequers plan support her as Prime Minister

The scene of dozens of "chuck Chequers" badges being sent skittering across the conference centre floor is the one that sums up where the Tories are at.

Many of the delegates in Birmingham are with the lad who was handing out the badges.

They hate the Chequers proposals which keep the UK tied to EU regulations on goods after Brexit, but many more are with the woman who knocked the bag from his hands muttering “stupid”.

Many of the delegates may not like Chequers but they see their leader, Theresa May, doing her best and they hate disloyalty.

But here’s the thing: many of the chuck Chequers brigade are conspicuously loyal to Mrs May as well.

Amongst the activists who met in private session with her on Sunday morning, I could find none who would publicly say a word against her and that included those who hate Chequers.

To an extent that is true amongst MPs too.

A couple of the more hardline Brexit supporting MPs actually got quite shirty when we brought up the question of leadership. With Chequers they are desperate to be seen to “hate the sin, love the sinner”.

And therein lies the dilemma for anyone who would replace Mrs May: for although the loyal delegates told me they want her to lead them into the next General Election, the MP’s won’t have it and there will be a contest.

However, anyone who starts that contest having been disloyal (and we’re all looking at you, Boris Johnson) will have put themselves at a disadvantage.