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Growing number of Tory MPs support ousting Theresa May

07 October, 2017, 00:48 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Theresa May's new shoes

But Mr Shapps, who was co-chair of the party between 2012 and 2015, told the BBC Mrs May was a "perfectly decent person" but had "rolled the dice" and lost over her decision to call a snap election.

Mr Shapps said those seeking to topple Ms May had no single candidate they wished to replace her but that the group included both supporters and opponents of Brexit.

'Now what the country needs is calm leadership, and that's what I am providing with the full support of my Cabinet, ' she said.

Charles Walker, the vice-chairman of the influential Tory backbench 1922 Committee, slapped down Shapps, saying: "No 10 must be delighted that it's Grant Shapps leading this alleged coup".

"I think a growing number of my colleagues realise the solution isn't to bury our heads in the sand and hope things will get better. While still trailing the Prime Minister 36% to 33%, the Labour leader is now only three points behind his main rival, in contrast to last time when he was eight points behind (37% vs 29%)", the statement on the poll results read.

Shapps' claims were dismissed by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who said he did not know of a single cabinet minister who wanted May to step down. "Before the Tory party conference I think people thought she might continue until after the Brexit negotiations were completed and go in 2019".

A Conservative leadership election will only be called if May resigns or if 50 Tory MPs write to request one.

During her speech Mrs May was given a cough sweet by Chancellor Philip Hammond, but it appeared to do little to ease her symptoms as she repeatedly paused and sipped water during the speech.

However cabinet ministers have been quick to defend the prime minister, suggesting there was no appetite within the party for a leadership challenge.

Theresa May's longevity as prime minister has been much debated since she failed to win a majority for the Conservative Party in the June election, but her "car crash" speech this week at the party conference has renewed speculation at a crucial time of Brexit-related talks.

Things started to go off the rails when a prankster, in a major security breach, approached May as she was speaking from the podium and handed her a P45, the British equivalent of a pink slip.

"The tone I want to set is one of partnership and friendship", she said. "She showed an wonderful degree of resilience and courage this week of a piece with the fantastic leadership she's shown throughout the time she has been prime minister".

Mr Clark said: "Clearly she was struggling but it was a very personal and that [the cough] made it more so".

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