Tory MP warns May her days may be numbered after mishap-strewn speech

A TORY MP has warned Theresa May that she will struggle to carry on as Prime Minister in the wake of her mishap-strewn party conference speech.

Prime Minister Theresa May's speech at the conference was filled with mishaps. Picture: PA

Former minister Ed Vaizey said “quite a few” in the party were now “pretty firmly” of the view that she should stand down.

His warning came as Mrs May’s allies sought to rally round her, insisting that there was no mood in the party for a leadership challenge.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

So far critics on the backbenches have been reluctant to voice their concerns publicly.

However Mr Vaizey told BBC Oxford: “I think there will be quite a few people who will now be pretty firmly of the view that she should resign.

“The Tory Party conference was a great opportunity to reboot the party and therefore reboot the country to give it a clear sense of direction and that didn’t happen.

“So yes, I am concerned. I am finding it increasingly difficult to see a way forward at the moment, and it worries me.”

The already febrile mood in the party was heightened by Mrs May’s conference address in Manchester when a prankster managed to hand her a P45, part of the scenery fell down, and she was beset by a persistent cough.

There was anger among loyalist MPs who accused the rebels of a “cowardly” attempt to circumvent party rules in order to unseat her.

Under the rules, 48 MPs would need to write to the party’s backbench 1922 Committee expressing no confidence in Mrs May in order to trigger a leadership contest.

But loyalist backbencher Mark Pritchard expressed concern that the rebels were trying to put together a delegation to tell her the time had come for her to go.

“If some MPs want to see a change of leader there is an agreed process through the 1922 Committee,” he told the Press Association.

“Trying to drum up a delegation of 30 MPs to try and circumvent this process is irregular, cowardly and will ultimately fail.

“Any minister with premature ambitions needs to put up or shut up and allow the Prime Minister to get on with her day job.”