Prime Minister Theresa May’s allies are said to be considering legal action to prevent the 1922 committee of Tory MPs from changing their rules in order to remove her from office.
Mrs May has, at least until now, been praised from some quarters for her “resilience” in refusing to step down despite repeated setbacks — for example, losing the Tory majority in the House of Commons in the 2017 general election, losing multiple Brexit secretaries and other senior ministers over her negotiating strategy with the EU and the proposed deal which it produced, losing three votes on that deal in the House of Commons, having her government found in contempt of parliament for the first time in recorded history, and losing the support of more than half her backbenchers in a parliamentary party in a parliamentary party confidence vote.
Patience with the struggling premier may finally have run out, however, with the party losing well over a thousand councillors in English local elections at the beginning of May, polling at less than 20 per cent in the upcoming European Parliament elections, and local party chairmen having organised a June extraordinary general meeting for the first grassroots vote of no confidence in a Tory leader for 185 years.
“It has… been almost three years since we voted to leave [the European Union] 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,” announced Andrew Sharpe, chairman of the National Conservative Convention which represents party activists — suggesting the pending confidence vote in unlikely to go in her favour.
Theresa May First Tory Leader to Face Grassroots Confidence Vote in 185 Years https://t.co/Rue428QRPj
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 1, 2019
Mrs May can only be forcibly moved from the party leadership in a vote of no confidence by the parliamentary party, initiated by the 1922 committee of backbench MPs — and her survival in the aforementioned vote would normally guarantee her a grace period in which she could not be challenged again.
Such is the scale of the electoral disaster facing the party, however, and the level of dissatisfaction with Mrs May’s leadership, that the ’22 is considering amending its rules to allow her to be removed earlier.
Incredibly, however, the “resilient” incumbent may not bow to pressure and step aside even in the face of this, with reports indicating that her allies understood to be threatening to take MPs to court to try and stop them from ousting her.
An executive member of the ’22 suggested that “Any legal challenge to the 1922 would perpetuate the anger [against the Prime Minister],” however.
“What would they be doing, kicking the can down the road?”
“[T]he party is literally dissolving before our eyes,” added committee treasurer Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.