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Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps calls for leadership contest

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps calls for leadership contest

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday said she enjoyed the "full support" of her cabinet after a former chairman of her Conservative Party admitted he was behind a plot by around 30 MPs to urge her to resign.

Grant Shapps, who served as Tory chair for almost three years, has emerged as the ringleader of a backbench plot to force May to step down and told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the solution to the leadership crisis was not "to bury our heads in the sand".

Mr Shapps was a minister in David Cameron's government but an ally of the former premier said he has misjudged the situation.

The stakes were high for the Prime Minister to cheer up her party and show she had understood the lessons of the election, as she took to the stage for her main address.

Deputy leader Damian Green says she will also announce "a return to council house-building".

The MP for Welwyn Hatfield has been named as a ringerleader in a motion to begin a leadership contest to challenge the Prime Minister.

"Hi Boris Johnson, I gave Theresa her P45 just like you asked", he later wrote on Twitter.

But the fiasco of her disastrous speech at this week's party conference has placed a great threat to her continued leadership.

The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg said that while many MPs wanted her to stay as leader, there were "emerging plots" as some Tory MPs tried to gather support to approach Mrs May privately and persuade her to stand aside. We can do that, and we will under her leadership. "The Chancellor will probably tell me there will be a price to pay in a minute".

The Sun, Britain's most-read print newspaper, has splashed with a picture of what remained of May's slogan by the end of her speech, with the headline "PM's nightmare as sign collapses".

"Then yesterday, journalists contacted me and told me the whips are saying 'you've got the list'".

"This is a Conservatism I believe in, a Conservatism of fairness and justice and opportunity for all, a Conservatism that keeps the British dream alive for a new generation", she said. The speech was already a hard one for Mrs May, opening with an apology to her party for the disastrous election campaign earlier in the year.

May is on a "final warning" after the "most shambolic conference speech in memory", according to the Times, while the Telegraph claims her future is "hanging in the balance".

It is not known whether Boris Johnson, who has been the subject of fevered leadership speculation amid his perceived disloyalty on Brexit in recent weeks, was one of the ministers who called Mrs May.


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