Grassroots Conservatives Plan Vote of No Confidence in Theresa May

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Grassroots Conservative Party chairmen are reportedly just a few weeks away from triggering a no confidence vote in Prime Minister Theresa May over her failure to deliver Brexit.

If 65 Constituency Association Chairmen sign the petition to the national convention, which represents the party’s grassroots, it would force an Extraordinary General Meeting where members could pass a vote ousting the prime minister.

Sources speaking to The Telegraph have said that 40 to 50 party chairmen have already signed the petition, and that they are just weeks away from holding the meeting.

London East area chairman Dinah Glover, who organised the petition, told The Telegraph that thee is “a lot of frustration and anger” in the party over May’s handling of the country’s exit from the European Union.

“What we need is a new leader who can break the impasse, who passionately believes that Britain has a bright Brexit future,” Ms Glover said.

The petition reads that it has been “almost three years since we voted to leave and after two extensions to the original departure date, we no longer feel that Mrs May is the right person to continue as Prime Minister to lead us forward in the negotiations.

“We therefore with great reluctance ask that she considers her position and resigns, to allow the Conservative Party to choose another leader, and the country to move forward and negotiate our exit from the EU.”

The National Conservative Convention is the most senior voluntary body in the party, with Chairman of the Campaign for Conservative Democracy John Strafford saying, “If the meeting is held and the motion passed it would put massive pressure on Theresa May to resign. It does not force the issue but would be quite devastating to her authority.”

The prime minister survived a confidence vote by her own MPs in December and is safeguarded against another such attempt until December 2019. However, party members are exploring other avenues to replace Mrs May with a Brexiteer prime minister, according to the ConservativeHome website, including changing the rules on confidence votes and an ‘indicative vote’ by the 1922 Committee of no confidence.

Last week, Brexiteer MP Mark Francois’s call for such an indicative vote was rejected by the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady.

ConservativeHome explains that while the vote would not be binding — only indicative — it would send a clear message to Prime Minister May; but the website’s Mark Wallace writes, “the Prime Minister shows no sign of accepting mere advice from her critics, or even from some of her allies.”

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