British Prime Minister Theresa May has held a conference call with scores of Conservative constituency leaders in a bid to persuade them to support her, now that the revolt against the Brexit draft deal seems to be coming to a standstill.
Sky News cited May as saying that she had a "pretty heavy couple of days"; she had tried to rebuild her government in the wake of an array of cabinet resignations caused by some ministers' dissatisfaction with the Brexit deal.
The cabinet reshuffle comes as Environment Secretary Michael Gove, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox chose to stay in the cabinet amid a number of dissenters' attempts to hand in letters of no confidence to try to oust May.
Also supporting May is newly-appointed Secretary for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd, who urged Tory colleagues sending in letters of no confidence to "think again".
"This is not a time for changing our leader. This is a time for pulling together, for making sure we remember who we are here to serve, who we are here to help: that's the whole of the country," Rudd underscored.
She berated some of her colleagues for being "sometimes too concerned about the Westminster bubble rather than keeping their eye on what our job is — to serve people."
Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, who is May's de facto deputy, also urged Tory dissenters to withdraw their letters, claiming that the UK Prime Minister would win any confidence vote "handsomely".
Michael Gove, for his part, assured that he was "looking forward to continuing to work" with all his government colleagues and all his colleagues in parliament "in order to make sure we get the best future for Britain".
Liam Fox, in turn, told Sky News about "a time where we have to take a deep breath and we have to think what is in the national interest."
"It's a painful process. As the prime minister has said, she shares many of the reservations that have been put out there. But, ultimately, the question is: can we get a deal that sticks? Can we get a deal that's in the national interest? Can we deliver Brexit?" Fox pointed out.
On Friday, a spokesperson for May said that she would personally manage the remaining 10 days of talks with the EU on the future framework; new Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, for his part, would mostly manage the preparedness within the UK for Brexit and the process of getting the existing draft plan through parliament.
Earlier, May confirmed that Britain would leave the European Union in line with the established schedule. Speaking on LBC Radio, she said that the divorce deal with the EU would be finalised on November 25 and then would be submitted to parliament for approval.
The draft agreement has prompted several resignations in the UK government, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, and has been met with criticism in the House of Commons, the lower chamber of parliament.