Grant Shapps: Tories within rights to urge May to go

Posted October 07, 2017

Beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May insisted Friday that she is in firm control of her Conservative government, after a party lawmaker said he had a list of 30 colleagues who want her to resign.

Some Leave-backing MPs may not want to cause instability which could risk Brexit not happening, while others may feel a leader who backed their side in the referendum is better placed to lead the United Kingdom in talks.

"They are Remainers, they are Brexiteers", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"I had rather hoped that we would be able to get to point where we could go to her privately and have this conversation, I am very sorry that the whips have not made this possible", he said.

May has struggled to reassert her authority since calling the snap election in June, only to lose the Conservatives' majority in the House of Commons. Under the party's rules, a leadership race can be triggered if at least 48 of those MPs express their support.

More news: Saudi Arabia and Russia are not foes

Delivered on the final day of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, May's speech was meant to reassert her authority and mark a fresh start for her party following an underwhelming election result in June's snap election.

May's speech was also marred by a comedian - who mid-way handed her a P45 (better known as the letter of termination of employment) - and letters falling off the bold slogan behind her.

The group of Tory rebels have always been critical of May but have been spurred into action after her conference speech on Wednesday was marred by mishaps.

She said: "I led the campaign, and I am sorry".

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who goaded her in the run-up to the event with outspoken interventions on Brexit, gave May his full support in his speech on Tuesday.

More news: John Kelly's personal cell phone was hacked, White House officials say

May said, "This Conservative Party must pledge to renew the British dream in this country once again". You can't just carry on when things aren't working.

But she is under growing pressure over negotiations in Brussels, while the increasing popularity of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn poses a threat. One hundred said there should be no immediate change to the leadership. "Obviously she was having difficulties, but what we saw was her tenacity", Stephen Kerr, a Scottish member of parliament, told AFP.

Under the headline: "Theresa May will stay as Prime Minister and get the job done", Interior Minister Amber Rudd wrote in The Telegraph newspaper that "she should stay".

British Prime Minister Theresa May will announce a plan for new government-built homes as she tries to restore momentum to her divided administration.

More news: United Kingdom scientist among Nobel Prize winners for 3D molecule imaging