Growing number of Tory MPs support ousting Theresa May

There is growing support among MPs for a change in leadership. Picture: PA
There is growing support among MPs for a change in leadership. Picture: PA
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Former Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps has said there is growing support among MPs for a leadership contest following Theresa May’s chaotic conference speech.

Mr Shapps, who has been revealed as one of the ringleaders of the plot to oust the Prime Minister, said there is a “broad spread” of opinion among Conservative MPs who believe they cannot carry on as they were.

“They are Remainers, they are Brexiteers,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“A growing number of number of my colleagues, we realise that the solution isn’t to bury our heads in the sand and just hope things will get better.

• READ MORE: Brian Wilson: Why Theresa May will cling on for a while yet

“It never worked out for Brown or Major and I don’t think it is going to work out here either.”

Former Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps has said there is growing support among MPs for a leadership contest following Theresa May’s chaotic conference speech.

Mr Shapps, who has been revealed as one of the ringleaders of the plot to oust the Prime Minister, said there is a “broad spread” of opinion among Conservative MPs who believe they cannot carry on as they were.

“They are Remainers, they are Brexiteers,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“A growing number of number of my colleagues, we realise that the solution isn’t to bury our heads in the sand and just hope things will get better.

“It never worked out for Brown or Major and I don’t think it is going to work out here either.”

• READ MORE: Analysis: Could Ruth Davidson become prime minister?

Senior ministers continued to rally around Mrs May, with Environment Secretary Michael Gove - who ran against her in last year’s leadership election - insisting there was no need for a contest.

“The Prime Minister has been doing a fantastic job,” he told the Today programme.

“She showed an amazing degree of resilience and courage this week, of a piece with the fantastic leadership she has shown through the time that she has been Prime Minister.”

It is thought that around 30 Tory MPs are backing the calls for a leadership election - short of the 48 needed to force a contest under party rules.

Mr Shapps would not be drawn on the number but did confirm that he had the support of five former Cabinet ministers.