Welsh MP who quit as minister says May must stand up to Brexit bully boys

Credit: PA, John Linton

The Welsh MP who resigned from the UK Government over Brexit says Theresa May must 'reassert' herself and 'stand up to the bully-boy tactics' of Tory hardliners like Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Guto Bebb says he's 'distraught' to have had to quit as defence minister but says he couldn't vote for changes to key Brexit legislation after ministers 'caved in' to pressure from Brexiteer MPs.

In an interview following his resignation the Aberconwy MP tells me he doesn't intend to become a serial rebel and that the Prime Minister has his 'total support.'

But he says her government is 'damaged' by giving in to what he calls a 'faction led by Jacob Rees-Mogg.'

He also explained why he rebelled again in last night's vote on membership of a customs union with the EU, a vote that the government had expected to lose but won narrowly.

He also rejected the suggestion that he and others who share his views are 'ultra remainers' saying that 'we all accept we have to leave but we have to do it in a constructive manner that protects our industries.'

But he says he hopes more like-minded Conservative MPs will find the courage to resist supporters of a so-called 'hard brexit' represented by the European Research Group.