Amber Rudd blasts male politicians as 'men who flounce a lot' in scathing jibe – as she warns 'anything can happen' over Brexit vote

The Work and Pensions Secretary is likely to have been referring to heavyweights such as Boris Johnson and Jacob Reed-Mogg – who have been outspoken against Mrs May's Brexit plans.

Her comments came as she urged Tories not to oust the Prime Minister if her Brexit plan is rejected by MPs.

As she warned "anything could happen", she offered an alternative Norway-style arrangement, if Mrs May's plan doesn't get through the Commons on Tuesday.

During a discussion on "Plan B", Ms Rudd told The Times the alternative "seems plausible not just in terms of the country but in terms of where the MPs are," but conceded that "nobody knows if it can be done".

She added: "If it doesn't get through, anything could happen – People's Vote, Norway-plus, any of these options could come forward and none of them are as good as the current arrangement we have got with the Withdrawal Agreement to vote on on Tuesday."

She told BBC Radio 4's Today: "A lot of people have a perfect vision of what they think Brexit should look like, and that 'perfect' is not available.

"What we need is a compromise deal, that's what the Prime Minister has proposed and I would urge my colleagues to think about, first of all, why people voted to leave the European Union, what their interpretation is of that; and secondly, what the alternatives are.

"This is why I think it is important for people not just to think why they don't particularly like the Withdrawal Agreement but what they would like better that is available and would get through the House of Commons."

Mrs May was warned by critics that she could be forced to stand down if her Brexit deal is defeated in the Commons next week.

Eurosceptic former party leader Iain Duncan Smith cautioned against the PM and her Cabinet deciding to "brazen it out", saying such an approach would be a "disaster".

"How the PM responds after the vote matters more than anything else she has done," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"I believe that if the response is, 'we've lost but we will do this all over again', it will become a leadership issue."

Yesterday we told how Mrs May faces a "hanging" next week over her crunch Brexit vote and could see even more resignations from her top team.

Liam Fox's PPS Mike Wood said he would quit and bring other whips and junior ministers with him if his concerns about the hated backstop, the Guardian revealed this afternoon.

Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg led the way in trashing the deal again yesterday, and warned that Mrs May's plans to give MPs a vote on the backstop won't be enough to get them on side.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister insisted this lunchtime: "The vote is going ahead on Tuesday. The Prime Minister thinks this is the right deal for the country and she will continue to make that argument."


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