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Fri, 10 July 2020

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Theresa May 'to be told to quit by June' amid Tory Brexit backlash

Theresa May 'to be told to quit by June' amid Tory Brexit backlash
2 min read

Theresa May will this week be told that Tory MPs want her gone by the summer, it has been reported.

According to The Sunday Times, Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs, will tell the embattled Prime Minister that 70% of her parliamentary troops want her to step down by the end of June.

Under Tory Party rules, Mrs May - who last year saw off a Conservative confidence vote - cannot be challenged until December.

But the paper reports that senior Conservative MPs will this week discuss whether or not to tear up the party's rulebook if the Prime Minister does not agree to step down by 30 June - a move that could pave the way for her to be ousted.

Mrs May has previously promised Tory MPs that she will not lead the country into the second phase of Brexit talks, which will focus on Britain's future relationship with the bloc.

But Downing Street sources have hinted that she could stay on through the summer to finalise Britain's departure from the EU.

The potential challenge to Mrs May's authority comes amid reports that Conservative activists are refusing to campaign for the party ahead of next month's planned European Parliament elections.

The Europe-wide poll is currently slated to take place on 23 May if Mrs May - whose Brexit agreement has been rejected three times by the House of Commons - cannot convince MPs to get behind a Brexit deal.

But one senior MP told the Sunday Times: "The pressure is building and will be irresistible if we perform badly in the local elections.”

And a minister warned: "She has to go. She is a calamity."

The dire predictions came as a Mail on Sunday poll revealed that 40% of Tory councillors are planning to back Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party in protest at the Prime Minister's handling of Britain's EU exit talks.

According to the paper, just 52% of Conservative councillors will back their own party in the Europe-wide poll - while 43% want Theresa May to resign immediately.

A third (33%) of Tory local government representatives want the Prime Minister to step down as soon as an EU deal is reached, while just over a fifth (21%) say she should not quit.

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