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.
I'm not so so sure if I was a rebel. [Backing] a customs union was entirely in keeping with the Withdrawal Bill. It's a backstop position so I was in keeping with government policy. But Westminster has become rather bizarre in the last few days. You can be a minister supporting the government's policy at 2pm and by 10 O'clock you're still supporting the same policy but you're now a rebel and you have to resign. It's been a very odd 2 days in Westminster.
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.
I hope more people will be willing to say very clearly 'We are members of the Conservative party led by Theresa May not beholden to a faction led by Jacob Rees-Mogg. The Prime Minister has my total support... The Prime Minister is remarkable in her resilience and her willingness to try to compromise with all sides. But I think the Prime Minister does need to reassert that she leads the Conservative party, she leads the government and I think at some point we do need to see some evidence of the government being willing to stand up to the bully boy tactics - and they are bully boy tactics - of the European Research Group.