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Andrea Leadsom's defection reflects how toxic May has become

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A minister resigning from Theresa May’s government rarely makes the front pages these days – since the 2017 election, the prime minister had lost 41 government ministers.

However, there was a sense of surprise in government circles that it was one of May’s more loyal cabinet colleagues, Andrea Leadsom, who became the 42nd – and it is unlikely she will be the last.

Leadsom’s decision to quit as leader of the Commons comes as May’s premiership enters its final stage. The prime minister is expected to announce her exit date on Friday – and if she fails to do so, then members of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers are likely to change the rules to force her out themselves.

Given the speed at which events are moving, it’s worth asking why Leadsom decided to jump ship late on Wednesday. A committed Brexiter, Leadsom surprised many of her colleagues by sticking it out as long as she did.

She campaigned vigorously for leave in the 2016 EU........

© The Guardian