Tory leadership contest looms as 40 MPs call to oust Theresa May

Elias Hubbard
November 15, 2017

The pound slipped below the $1.31 mark on Monday morning, as rumours grew that a number of Conservative MPs are planning an attempt to oust Prime Minister Theresa May, further complicating the already muddy picture of United Kingdom politics.

Forty members of parliament from the Conservative Party have agreed to sign a letter of no-confidence their leader Theresa May, according to a report in the UK's Sunday Times newspaper. The revelation kick-starts what will likely be another week of turmoil for the Tories.

With May seemingly battling for her survival on several fronts, the state of affairs continued to worsen over the last week, which saw Priti Patel becoming the second cabinet minister to resign, after defense minister Michael Fallon last week.

If 48 MPs sign a letter of no confidence in May, a leadership contest would be triggered.

Since calling for a snap election in June - then winning by a narrower-than-expected margin and losing parliamentary majority - May has struggled to assert herself as PM and Conservative leader, a position made increasingly hard as her party is hit by multiple front-page scandals.

The Westminster sex scandal, Boris Johnson's comments on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and divisions over Brexit are also said to have increased fears that the government is in crisis. If there is a leadership contest in the Conservative Party and a challenger defeats May, he or she would take over as both the party leader and the British prime minister, Reuters reported. One minister reportedly said: "It's a terrible thing to say.but we are getting closer and closer to the point whereby we need some time in opposition to regroup".

"There's also threats from Michel Barnier - who stated at the weekend the European Union was preparing for a "no deal" scenario - that if Britain doesn't spell out how far it intends to "honour its obligations" within the next 2 weeks then any trade talks will have to be "put back".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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