Chris Green, Conservative MP for Bolton West in Greater Manchester, gave a talk to the Conservative Society at the University of Liverpool on Friday 16 November. Earlier that day, Green announced he had sent a letter to the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, expressing his lack of confidence in Prime Minister and party leader Theresa May. We sat down with the MP for an interview prior to the Conservative Society event to discuss Brexit, a letter he signed opposing investigations into alleged crimes by British veterans in Northern Ireland, and Amber Rudd’s reappointment to the Cabinet following her resignation in April over her handling of the Windrush Scandal and accusations of misleading Parliament.

If 48 letters, representing 15 per cent of Conservative MPs, are sent, May will face a vote of no confidence, which, if successful, will trigger a leadership election. If May wins this, her position as leader of the Conservatives will be secure for at least a year. Graham Brady, Chair of the 1922 Committee, will only announce the total number of letters received once the quota has been met. So far, 21 MPs have announced their submission of letters.

Chris Green resigned from his position as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) at the Department for Transport on 9 July 2018 following the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis. This was in response to the so-called Chequers plan, with Chris Green claiming that ‘The direction the negotiations had been taking have suggested that we would not really leave the EU and the conclusion and statements following the Chequers summit confirmed my fears.’

On 14 November, Prime Minister Theresa May announced the Draft Withdrawal Agreement, which allows for a UK-wide backstop with deeper EU regulations for Northern Ireland. This was followed with the resignations of Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, with the DUP, who May relies on for a majority in Parliament, announcing their opposition to the plan.

It was in the aftermath of this that Chris Green took to Twitter to announce he had submitted a letter. During the event at the University of Liverpool, he avoided a question on when he sent it, saying it was some time between his resignation in July and his announcement on 16 November.

Green said the Conservatives need a leader who, like Jeremy Corbyn, people know has principles, who can communicate these, and who supports Brexit. He also questioned why the Conservatives are so quiet on law and order, particularly in the context of rising levels of knife crime.