Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has accused Prime Minister Theresa May of taking her party’s support from the business community “for granted”, and issued a stark warning to Conservative MPs to “defect or resign”.

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Speaking at the Lib Dem’s spring conference in York, Farron said that May had “hung out to dry her own backers in British business” by taking the UK out of the Single Market.

“Theresa May has put at risk the very people who have bankrolled her party’s success for years. And she didn’t have to,” Farron said.

“There was nothing inevitable about leaving the Single Market. That’s her choice. The blame for the damage lies at her door.

“If I was a businessperson who had given money to today’s Conservatives, I would demand my money back.”