Disgruntled junior Tory ministers could resign from their posts to force out the “lame horse” prime minister who is propped up by a “selfish” Cabinet, sources have claimed.
Junior ministers are angry with Cabinet members like Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, who are pushing Theresa May around “like a rag doll” for their own benefit and damaging the party, ministers told The Telegraph.
They also claimed the Government is “doing nothing” and “going nowhere”.
One minister told the paper they could step down in order to bring forward an inevitable leadership contest to replace Mrs. May before the party’s annual conference in October.
Divisions over the cap on public sector pay are said to have exacerbated the burgeoning row after Mr. Johnson and Environment Secretary Michael Gove contradicted Tory policy by calling for it to be scrapped.
Both men harbour ambitions to lead the party and ran in the recent contest, and their demands were seen as opportunistic and risking “trashing” the Conservative record on the economy which should be “protected at all costs”.
One minister said “self-indulgent” cabinet colleagues were propping up the prime minister, for the time being, whilst awaiting a moment when they have enough support of challenge for her crown.
However, by the time such a challenge takes power, the party could be too weak and discredited to win another election, the source said.
The minister also commented: “It has become increasingly clear that [Mrs. May’s former advisers] Nick [Timothy] and Fi [Hill] were running the country and now they are gone we are all kicking around and doing nothing. It’s terrifying”.
A group of junior ministers who disagree with Mr. Gove and Johnson on the pay cap, and the prime minister’s claim that austerity needs to end, are now said to be plotting against the government.
The group believes they must not cede ground to Labour on economic issues and are meeting at one of the minister’s houses to plot their response.
A source said a showdown is expected in October at the party’s conference, adding: “Selfish cabinet ministers are simply putting their own ambition before the country – It’s self-indulgence and there is going to be a backlash.”