May Thanks Lawmakers Who Quit, Then Tells Them They’re Wrong

(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Theresa May told three Members of Parliament who quit her Conservative Party on Wednesday that she’s saddened by their departure and thanked them for their service. Then she explained why she thinks they’re wrong.

"I do not accept the picture you paint of our party,” May wrote in a letter to Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen. She then dedicated four paragraphs to detailing policies that she said prove her party is "moderate" and "open-hearted."

May was responding to the trio’s letter of resignation a day earlier in which they said she has "abandoned" the party’s values and principles, including moderation and economic competence. They accused her of being in hock to Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party and the anti-EU wing of the Tories.

They also said the party is being subsumed by a "purple momentum" -- a reference to the anti-EU U.K. Independence Party -- with "entryism" into the party by the right-wing. They said it is comparable to the takeover of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn by hard line socialists.

"I was sorry to read, and do not accept, the parallel you draw with the way Jeremy Corbyn and the hard left have warped a once-proud Labour Party and allowed the poison of antisemitism to go unchecked," May wrote. "Under my leadership, the Conservative Party will always offer the decent, moderate and patriotic politics that people of this country deserve."

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