Former Tory chair Grant Shapps coordinating plot to oust Theresa May
Pressure is mounting on Theresa May after Conservative former chairman Grant Shapps admitted he is coordinating a plot to oust her.
Mr Shapps said MPs were “perfectly within their rights” to urge the Prime Minister to quit, after it was revealed that 30 backbenchers are poised to force her resignation.
The beleaguered leader has faced a storm a criticism since her ill-fated party conference speech that saw her confronted by a protestor before repeatedly losing her voice.
But she has also received support from Home Secretary Amber Rudd today, who called on her to stay in post to steer Britain through the Brexit negotiations.
In an article for the Telegraph, Ms Rudd also urged her boss to move on from her unfortunate conference speech, saying “to continue to dwell on the trio of mishaps (I am not going to try to pretend they weren’t) would be an incredible shame".
Speaking on BBC 5Live yesterday Mr Shapps, who was co-chair of the party between 2012 and 2015, said: "We did have a result that was not at all what anyone wanted, least of all what she wanted or anticipated, and... sometimes when things happen you have to take responsibility for them.
"This is a view I have held for quite some time and quite a lot of colleagues feel the same way, including five former cabinet ministers."
He said there were up to 30 MPs on the list he was organising but admitted they did not include any current members of the Cabinet.
It follows a tough couple of day for the Prime Minister as Tory colleagues have lined up to question her premiership.
Some Tory rebels have said there is a 50/50 chance they will orchestrate a public confrontation with Mrs May over the next few days, according to the Telegraph.
One told the newspaper: "It has to be all or nothing,.. We can't have a situation where a few go public with their criticism and the rest fade away. There is a small window of opportunity here, more people are coming forward.
"This is not about any personal animosity towards Theresa May. She just no longer seen as credible or competent.”
Former arts minister Ed Vaizey said: "I think there will be quite a few people who will now be pretty firmly of the view that she should resign."
One Cabinet minister told PoliticsHome: "We're in wait and see territory. What is clear now is that she's not going to lead us into the next election.
“People want an ordered transition, but not clear how that can be achieved."
Another senior MP told PoliticsHome they had been approached by one of the plotters to join a 30-strong delegation to No 10 urging Mrs May to stand down, but they refused.
However, the backbencher added: "I had thought she would be in place until we leave the EU in March 2019, but I'd say the money has gone the other way and I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that she won't. It's a matter of when rather than if.”
"But I don't like this hounding of an individual, especially a woman by bullying men. It's disgusting on a human level."