Theresa May is 'warm and compassionate', her key ally insists

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Theresa May’s offer to give Opposition parties a say over her policies was rebuffed by Labour as proof she had “run out of ideas” today.

The Prime Minister is planning to use a speech tomorrow to invite Jeremy Corbyn and other political rivals to “clarify and improve” Government policies.

In an astonishing change to Mrs May’s previous approach to the political arts, her right-hand minister this morning conceded that Conservatives do not have a “monopoly of wisdom” and said the public wanted the parties to work together.

First Secretary of State Damian Green said the public would welcome a move away from politics in which parties “just sit in the trenches and shell each other”.

He said Mrs May was “a perfectly warm, compassionate human being” and that the public had not seen how she was “a warm and empathetic woman”.

“I’m sure most of the people watching this programme will say that it’s possible that no political party has the complete monopoly of wisdom,” he said. “We want to see our politicians working together. That’s the point the prime minister is making.”

Mrs May’s speech tomorrow is widely seen as an attempt to relaunch her premiership after the humiliation of the election result and the need to strike a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party.

Her standing was undermined further by weekend reports of plots to replace her with Brexit Secretary David Davis. Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell, who ran David Davis’s unsuccessful 2005 leadership bid, reportedly told a private dinner that the PM was “dead in the water”. Allies of Boris Johnson are said to have spread reports that Mr Mitchell was urging Tory MPs to move against Mrs May.

Mr Green told Sky News: “I’m saying that there is no credible plot going on.”

Rival parties said Mrs May’s overtures merely reflected the collapse of her authority after her majority was wiped out at the General election.

Shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne, a close ally of Mr Corbyn, said: “Theresa May has finally come clean and accepted the Government has completely run out of ideas. As a result they’re having to beg for policy proposals from Labour.”

Mrs May’s speech comes ahead of a series of Tory rebellions expected on the Repeal Bill, published on Thursday, which is the main legislation to enact Brexit.

Labour and Conservative backbenchers have begun informal talks on how best to avoid aspect of “hard Brexit” they feel could harm jobs and the economy, such as leaving Euratom the nuclear authority.


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