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Tory leadership contest would be ‘catastrophic’ for Brexit talks, says Davis

He said the country needed a stable backdrop for its attempts to cut a Brexit deal with Brussels.

A Tory leadership contest would be “catastrophic” for EU withdrawal negotiations, Brexit Secretary David Davis has said.

Mr Davis, who is tipped as one of the front runners to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister, said the country needed a stable backdrop for its attempts to cut a Brexit deal with Brussels.

Asked if a leadership contest would be catastrophic for those negotiations, Mr Davis told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “Yes. Yes. Let me be absolutely plain about this, number one, I happen to think we have got a very good Prime Minister. I know she is coming under a lot of pressure at the moment, but I have seen her in action.

(Victoria Jones/PA)

“I think she is very good. She makes good decisions. She’s bold. She takes her time. Point number two is, I want a stable backdrop to this Brexit negotiation.”

Mr Davis said his message to Tory MPs seeking a leadership battle was: “Don’t be so self indulgent. Get on with the day job.

“The more self-indulgent nonsense you go in for, the more difficult you make it to do our proper job.”

Asked about reports that a Tory MP told him he should be PM at a party meeting, Mr Davis said: “And I said afterwards our job is to support the Prime Minister and make Brexit work, not anything else.”

Mr Davis said he took some blame for urging Mrs May to call the snap election, but he had not apologised to her for it.

“I take my share of the blame for it – along with the other 20 members of the Cabinet who also said it was a good idea. No, I didn’t apologise to her. I didn’t design the campaign.”

Asked about the campaign, Mr Davis said: “It didn’t work, did it?”

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