Theresa May under fresh pressure as Tory activists announce June bid to oust her as leader
Theresa May is facing a fresh plot to oust her as Prime Minister after grassroots Tories confirmed plans for a vote of no confidence in her leadership next month.
The National Conservative Convention will hold an extraordinary general meeting on June 15 at which its members will be able to pass judgement on her performance over Brexit.
The meeting of the 800-strong body of activists marks the first time in the party's 185-year history that a Tory leader has faced such action from grassroots members.
While the NCC's verdict on her leadership will be symbolic, it is likely to heap further pressure on the Prime Minister to signal her departure plans.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the EGM motion will acknowledge that it has "been almost 3 years since we voted to leave and after two extensions to the original departure date, we no longer feel that Mrs May is the right person to continue as Prime Minister to lead us forward in the negotiations..."
“We therefore with great reluctance ask that she considers her position and resigns, to allow the Conservative Party to choose another leader, and the country to move forward and negotiate our exit from the EU.”
It comes as Mrs May prepares to meet with Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the backbench 1922 committee on Tuesday, when he is expected to press her on setting a firm resignation date.
Last month the committee's executive narrowly voted against changing party rules that would allow for a confidence vote in the leader every six months, rather than the current 12 months.
MPs are unable to trigger a formal vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister until December, however a raft of MPs have ramped up calls in recent weeks for Mrs May to go.
Talks between the Government and Labour over a possible Brexit deal will also resume on Tuesday, with reports suggesting she could offer the opposition a temporary customs arrangement in a bid to break the Commons impasse.
But it is understood the opposition will reject any agreement which stops short of a permanent customs union.
A senior minister told the Telegraph: “People are waiting to see what this deal is, if it happens. That will be the decision point for a lot of MPs when it comes to deciding the Prime Minister’s future.
“It’s going to be very difficult to support any deal Labour would support.
“It all comes down to the same old problem, that they want a full and permanent customs union, and we made a manifesto pledge to leave the customs union.”
Tory MP Nigel Evans told the paper that the committee could reopen the issue of a rule change in a bid to sack Mrs May.
“No-one expects her to be in Downing Street beyond 30 June and there is growing discontentment with her within the party," he said.
“If we get a fresh leader they will look at Brexit with fresh eyes - they are not handcuffed to Mrs May’s deal.”