Theresa May is facing heavy pressure from all quarters of her party to consider her position as prime minister – she may have to step down.
Most Tory MPs is trying to force May from office through a mass delegation of cabinet ministers who would tell her that her time is up.
For now, May is protected from a binding challenge to her leadership by a party rule that means she has a year’s grace after winning a vote of no confidence in December.
Opinion is split on the committee. Nigel Evans, the committee’s joint executive secretary, said the process for selecting a new leader “can’t start soon enough” but others are known to be more cautious.
The committee, which will meet and vote on Tuesday, could decide to scrap the grace period altogether, which would mean another vote could take place as soon as 15% of Tory MPs submit letters of no confidence. MPs including Mark Francois and Andrea Jenkyns have already submitted further letters.
Grassroots Conservative activists will try to press May to stand down as prime minister by forcing an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to allow a vote of no confidence from party members. The vote would not be binding on the prime minister, but the National Conservative Convention (NCC) is obliged to hold the meeting if more than 65 Tory association chairs called for one to be held.
Donors have openly voiced their frustration at May’s leadership – mostly from a pro-business perspective and over fears about a no-deal Brexit. On Monday, Alexander Temerko, who has donated more than £1m to the Conservatives, said both sides of the Brexit divide were angry at May’s leadership and suggested to the Times that donors give their cash “not to CCHQ but to associations and MPs”.
Reports have suggested that the Tory chief executive, Mick Davis, a former mining tycoon, has warned about the party’s lack of funds to fight EU elections.
Source: The Guardian