Theresa May speaks out amid plots to topple her: I am providing calm leadership

Posted On: 
6th October 2017

Theresa May has insisted she is providing “calm leadership” with the backing of her Cabinet after claims of a plot to topple her engulfed Westminster.

Theresa May speaking in her constituency today
Credit: 
PA Images

Former party chair Grant Shapps revealed himself last night as the ringleader of a group hoping to force the Prime Minister to stand down.

Mrs May has faced a storm a criticism since her ill-fated party conference speech that saw her confronted by a protester before repeatedly losing her voice.

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But today Mrs May argued: “What the country needs is calm leadership and that’s what I’m providing with the full support of my Cabinet.

“Next week I’m going to be updating MPs on my Florence speech which has given real momentum to the Brexit talks.

“I will also be introducing a draft bill to cap energy prices, which will stop ordinary working families from being ripped off.”

Speaking in her constituency she added that she had been suffering "a cold all this week" - the reason why her voice failed her during her keynote conference speech.

Mr Shapps faced a backlash after saying MPs were “perfectly within their rights” to urge the Prime Minister to step aside and said some 30 were supporting his challenge.

One prominent backbencher told PoliticsHome the move was “stupid, stupid, stupid” while another said it had “not much traction” in the parliamentary party.

'CLOCK IS TICKING'

But former Chancellor George Osborne appeared to back the moves to topple the Prime Minister, writing in his Evening Standard editorial that the "clock is ticking".

He noted the concerns among Tory MPs that in the midst of the Brexit negotiations could be a bad time to switch the leadership of the country.

But he added: "In both of the world wars, Britain changed its prime minister when their own party realised they could no longer lead.

"Is it really in the national interest to be stuck for a couple of years with a lame-duck Prime Minister while we engage in these crucial Brexit talks? You don’t need a comedian to tell us it is not."

Meanwhile, a new poll released this morning suggested Mrs May’s speech fiasco had not done the Tories much damage with voters, although Labour are still slightly ahead.