LEADING THE WAY OUT OF THE EU

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The Daily Telegraph can disclose that three Tory MPs Dame Caroline Spelman, Dominic Grieve and Mark Pawsey are facing no confidence motions at their party’s annual meetings over the next four weeks.

The votes are being forced on the local associations by party activists who are furious at the way some Tory MPs are trying to water down Brexit and betraying a manifesto promise to leave the single market and customs union.

Theresa May’s decision this week to raise the prospect of a delay to Brexit has only inflamed local feeling.

Tory party activists are expected to request a vote on Dame Caroline’s future at her party’s annual meeting next Friday, Mr Pawsey faces a vote on his future on March 20 and Mr Grieve has to win a vote of no confidence on March 29.

Arron Banks, the backer of the Leave.EU campaign which is supporting the activists, said: “These MPs have ratted on their manifesto promises and are starting to feel the heat from their constituents.”

Under Tory party rules, MPs’ local associations must hold their annual meetings before the end of March each year.  Motions of no confidence can be tabled with support of just two local members.

If a simple majority at the annual meeting passes the motion, the MP must win a postal ballot of the entire association to carry on as the local MP.

A draft motion against Dame Caroline – seen by The Telegraph – says that her association “has no confidence in Dame Caroline Spelman MP as the Conservative Member of Parliament for the Constituency of Meriden”.

Collin Boden, the Tory member who will submit the motion on Monday, said it was in protest at “her attempt to delay and to even kill off Brexit”.

The motion against Mr Pawsey – who backed Remain at the 2016 referendum – says that members have no confidence in him, should “commence the process to replace him (also known as unadoption and deselection)” with a candidate who believes that “no deal is better than a bad deal”.

In a two page letter backing the vote of no confidence in Mr Pawsey to the chairman and secretary of the Rugby Conservative Association, local activists Alan Robinson and Elizabeth Bull called on other members to “show some courage, self-belief and discipline” to pass the vote of no confidence.

The pair added: “Rugby has not always enjoyed a Conservative Member of Parliament, and should not assume this will continue; there is a vacuum to fill and Leave voting constituencies of all persuasions may seek an alternative, especially if they feel betrayed by their MP or political party.”

In Mr Grieve’s Beaconsfield constituency, John Strafford, a local activist, has submitted a motion of no confidence in the MP supported by more than 50 members in the former Attorney General to be debated on March 29.