Iain Duncan Smith savages Tory MPs with 'big mouths and small brains'
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith has launched a bitter attack on colleagues plotting to oust Theresa May, telling them to get behind the Prime Minister and her government.
Reports in this morning's papers suggest a number of Conservative MPs are contemplating sending letters of no confidence to the backbench 1922 committee.
Mrs May has yet to put together an arrangement with the Democratic Unionists, leading to concerns she may lose a crucial Commons vote on the Queen's Speech due at the end of the month.
As many as a dozen MPs are apparently prepared to send a letter declaring no confidence in their leader, although there would need to be a total of 48 signatures to force a vote.
"She’s going to have to go sooner rather than later," a former minister told the Sunday Times.
"The critical moment is June 28 and 29, when there are votes on the Queen’s speech. If it looks like they will be lost, you have to strike."
But Mr Duncan Smith, who was forced out as Conservative leader in 2003 after a vote of no confidence, was dismissive of any talk of deposing the Prime Minister.
"Theresa May has come out of an election, we didn't do as well as we had obviously hoped for - which is probably a bit of an understatement - but the reality is that we need stability now," he told Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday.
"We don't need silly people in the Conservative party with big mouths and small brains running around the place trying to tell everybody what they're going to do."
He issued a stark warning about the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister if Mrs May is ousted.
"I think what they should do now is do what the rest of us want to do, which is try and support the Government because the big threat - you look into the abyss and it grins back at with you with a short-cropped grey beard and very Marxist ideology.
"So we don't want to see that govern Britain and therefore we have to get stable behind the Prime Minister and make sure that at the end of it all that she has the strength and the focus to go on and govern as her government does."