Theresa May ‘facing calls from Tory donors to stand down’
Theresa May is facing renewed pressure to quit as Prime Minister amid reports of unrest among Conservative party donors over her leadership.
Concerns from across the party over the direction of Brexit talks and fears of a looming rout in the forthcoming council elections have led to increased unease among Tory ranks over their leader.
Tory MPs have been discussing a fundraising event last Thursday at which a quarter of the 50 donors present are said to have demanded her resignation, according to the Times.
The paper reports one businessman backer saying: “Among even the most loyal middle-ranking donors there is utter despair.”
He added: “Dominic Johnson [a Tory party treasurer] stands up and says: ‘I love Theresa May, who could possibly want to replace her?’
“What he didn’t expect was about a quarter of the room to say ‘yes [we do]’. This was a room of very, very traditional donors.”
The paper also reports a source close to the Brexit-supporting European Research Group (ERG) of backbench Tory MPs predicting Mrs May’s chance of survival was now “50:50”.
“There is no-one defending her but no plot to oust her. It’s the worst of all worlds,” a senior Tory said.
Elsewhere, senior Tory voices have launched a joint plea for the Prime Minister to “to think about Britain after Brexit too”, with a warning that ignoring other issues could allow Jeremy Corbyn to win the keys to Number 10.
Writing in the Sun, former ministers Nick Boles, Nicholas Soames and Rob Halfon said: “We can’t afford to let Corbyn and his Trots sneak into Downing Street. It’s up to Conservatives to stop him."