Tories reportedly close to triggering leadership challenge against May

Amidst growing pressures surrounding the ongoing Brexit negotiations, its been claimed that the Conservative party backbenchers are close to launching a leadership challenge against the Prime Minister.

According to The Times, the Chair of the 1922 Committee Graham Brady has received 46 out of the 48 required Letters of No Confidence in Theresa May. While these are unconfirmed reports, they’re seemingly backed up by the amount of MPs who now feel comfortable criticising their leader. An unnamed ‘Former Tory Minister’ went as far as to tell the Sunday Times that there will soon be the moment when “the knife gets heated, stuck in her front and twisted”, before saying “she’ll be dead soon”. Such language hasn’t been heard from Conservative politicians since Andrew Bridgen reportedly joked about “stabbing David Cameron in the front” and “twisting the knife”.

On Wednesday, the 1922 Committee will meet, and a senior Brexiteer has said that the PM should “bring her own noose to the ’22”, revealing that unless she pulls off an “uncharacteristically powerful, persuasive and coherent performance”, then her “time will be up”. And the previously mentioned Andrew Bridgen has said she is “drinking in a last chance saloon”.

With speculation rife about who the next Tory Leader will be, the favourites currently stand as being Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt and David Davis. Perhaps what is most striking is that there is no clear frontrunner amongst what is seen as a “bad bunch” of candidates.

Such news of an attempted coup against the PM will come as no surprise, with rumours emerging on Sunday that she has “72 hours to save her job”. The big question now is when, not if, the Prime Minister will be ousted, and while only Mr Brady knows the exact number of letters he’s received, its believed that enough Conservative MPs are willing to do what it takes to get rid of Mrs May. And if there really has been 46 letters already, then all it will take is just two more and there will be a leadership contest. While Brexit secretary Dominic Raab put out a rallying call for MPs to back her, it would seem like its too little too late for the beleaguered Prime Minster.

 

Blairite MPs dismiss members concerns after losing votes of no confidence

Following Joan Ryan’s loss to a vote of no confidence, Gavin Shuker of Luton South has also lost the confidence of his constituency. Despite the votes, both Ryan and Shuker have told their local party members that they will not quit.

Ryan lost 94-92, Shuker lost by a significant margin, 33-3.

The motion against Joan Ryan could see her suspended from the whip and mean that Enfield North CLP uses Open Selection to select its next Parliamentary candidate.

Ryan went on to say that:

Shuker responded by saying:

‘I’m really sorry a handful of people in the Labour Party want to overturn your vote of confidence in me last year. Their actions say far less about me – and you – than they do about the face of today’s party. I’ve not changed, but the Labour Party has.’

Both  MPs seemed keen to blame the membership and it’s more open left-wing stance for their loss.

A senior Labour figure said to TPN,

‘At long last the grassroots are taking control of their party. They’re not going to continue putting up with the likes of Joan Ryan and Gavin Shuker riding roughshod over democracy. The Labour Party belongs to its members not a handful of out-of-touch privileged parliamentarians who have been strutting around with a sense of entitlement for too long’.

Analysis from Iwan Doherty- Editor in Chief

If anyone was expecting humility and reflection in defeat it hasn’t happened. Whilst Shuker did show more restraint than Ryan both MPs openly attacked people who gave up their time to get them elected, not a wise strategy. A strategy that could see other moderates lacking the canvassers that Corbyn has brought into the party that they need to get themselves elected.

The Labour Party is not full of communists or Trotskyists, and attempts to paint members as far left is a sign of why many members feel Ryan is not fit to serve the party. It’s a Tory propaganda line based on complete nonsense.

What action the national party will take be extremely interesting, with local parties asking for both Ryan and Hoey to have whips suspended and to make changes to how the next parliamentary candidate the leadership face a dilemma over to side with its members or its old establishment. I do not expect Labour to suspend the whip on Ryan.