David Cameron pleaded with the Three Amigos Tory defectors in a last-ditch attempt to get them to stay, Anna Soubry reveals
- Mrs Soubry said the former Prime Minister had sent a message to the MPs
- Neither Theresa May nor her aides had made any attempt to contact the trio
- After defections, Mr Cameron said he was ‘sad’ the trio had decided to leave
David Cameron (pictured on BBC News in January) reportedly asked Tory defectors not to leave the party
David Cameron pleaded with the three Conservative defectors to stay in the party hours before they quit, it emerged last night.
Anna Soubry told The Times the former Prime Minister had sent a message to the MPs as they prepared to announce their defection.
He reportedly asked them: ‘Is it too late to persuade you to stay?’
The revelation came after the MPs revealed that neither Theresa May nor her aides had made any attempt to contact the trio – despite widespread rumours in the Press that they were about to quit.
One Cabinet minister texted Heidi Allen to urge her to stay in the party, but the others had no contact with their colleagues, they said.
After the defections, Mr Cameron tweeted a statement saying that he was ‘sad that three talented Tory MPs have left the party… I respect their decision, but disagree with them.’
He added: ‘We need strong voices at every level of the party calling for the modern, compassionate Conservatism that saw the Conservative Party return to office.
‘Our party has long been able to contain different views on Europe. Everyone must ensure that can continue to be the case.’
On a visit to Berlin, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: ‘These are extremely talented people and I hope that one day we will be able to welcome them back into the Conservative family.’
The revelation came after the MPs revealed that neither Theresa May nor her aides had made any attempt to contact the trio (pictured)