June 2, 2018 / 9:12 PM / 7 months ago

Conservative donor says Gove should replace May as UK PM: the Observer

LONDON (Reuters) - Prominent eurosceptic Michael Gove should replace British Prime Minister Theresa May because she is incapable of delivering Brexit, a donor to her party was quoted as saying in an early edition of the Observer newspaper seen on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

May became prime minister in July 2016 after Britain voted to leave the European Union, and promised to bring about Britain’s departure from the European Union.

But she then lost her majority in parliament when she called an early election last year, and her cabinet remains divided on key issues about Britain’s future relationship with the bloc, with less than a year until Britain is due to leave it.

Crispin Odey, a hedge fund manager who backed the Leave campaign and is a donor to May’s Conservatives, told the Observer that May, who voted Remain, couldn’t be trusted to see Brexit through, and that environment minister Gove had the skills to be Prime Minister.

“What is true is that you have a whole lot of people who didn’t want this to happen who are in charge of it happening... I would go to Gove,” he told the newspaper, adding May wasn’t suited to politics.

“She can’t make a decision. So there is no leadership.”

Odey was a prominent supporter of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, signing a letter alongside hedge fund manager Paul Marshall backing the main Brexit campaign group.

He told the Observer that Britain should start striking trade deals before it leaves the European Union, in breach of the bloc’s rules.

“We’ve got to have that self-confidence to make breaches. “There’s no point in voting for freedom if you don’t know what to do when you’re free,” he was quoted as saying.

Downing Street declined to comment on the report.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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