THERESA May has admitted her husband, a glass of whiskey and beans on toast helped her get through a week of hell over her Brexit deal.
While Cabinet ministers Dominic Raab and Esther McVey along with five others quit over her proposed agreement with the EU, at least 20 Tory MPs wrote to Sir Graham Brady, the head of the party’s powerful 1922 Committee, calling for a vote of no confidence in her.
At the moment Theresa May is clinging on to power by her fingertips and her future as Prime Minister is far from certain.
May told the Daily Mail: “It’s been a pretty heavy couple of days. When I went up to the flat late on Wednesday, around 11pm, the first thing Philip did was to pour me a whiskey, Penderyn Welsh whiskey – though I do drink Scotch as well.”
But May, 62, who has been married Philip May, 61, since 1980, described the investment banker as her “rock”.
She said: ‘I always say he is my rock. It’s hugely important to have somebody there who is supportive of you, not involved in the intricacies of politics, but there to provide human support.”
When she returned from Clarence House where she was attending Prince Charles’ 70th birthday party, Philip was there ready to rustle up a quick snack.
“We went up to the flat for a quick bite,” May said. “Philip cooked beans on toast – I think I opened the tin! He made the toast – and did the washing up.”
He also backs her policies and gives her encouragement when things get tough, as they have done this week.
She said: “He thinks what I am doing is important for the British people, though he doesn’t put it like that.
“He says ‘Keep going, this matters, keep doing the right thing’.”
But she did admit he feels the attacks on her from her critics much more than she does and said he felt some of the pain himself.
May said: “They think too much about their privileged position and too little about their responsibility.
“The job of a prime minister is to make tough decisions which are not always black or white.”
While she promoted what she saw as her achievements in her dealings with the EU over Brexit, such as leaving the Common Agricultural Policy, she remained more hesitant over the issue whether or not the EU would have a veto in the future over the UK leaving the customs union.
At first she categorically said there was no veto but struggled when reminded that the Irish “backstop mechanism” involving UK-wide trade can only be ended by mutual consent.
Ultimately, May remained defiant under intense pressure from all political sides.
May said: “Being prime minister is about fighting the good fight for the country.
“And that is what I am determined to do.”
But May’s political survival is far from certain with some of the Eurosceptic members of her cabinet said to be pushing for changes to the Brexit deal as the price she has to pay for them not resigning.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove, along with Andrea Leadsom, Chris Grayling, Penny Mordaunt and Liam Fox will meet in the next two days to agree the terms of their ultimatum, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The group, dubbed the “Gang of Five,” are believed to have given May a lifeline over the proposed deal but left her in no doubt they would resign if their demands are not met.