Theresa May has insisted she wants to stay on as leader of the Conservative Party until the 2020 general election despite being dubbed a “dead woman walking”.
The Conservative Party leader insisted to reporters while on a visit to Japan that she was “here for the long term”, which put the mockers on reports she planned to step down in 2019 after Brexit.
It promoted a rash of ‘I won’t quit’ front pages.
In June, former Chancellor George Osborne said May was “a dead woman walking” who will have to be replaced as Prime Minister.
As May reeled from losing her Commons majority after the general election, the Evening Standard editor said: “Theresa May is a dead woman walking - it’s just how long she can remain on death row,” he said.
“I think we will know very shortly – in other words we could easily get to the middle of next week and it all collapses for her.”
Other Tory MPs, notably Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, have signalled May cannot lead the party into another general election.
But despite anger among MPs at the performance of the Conservative election campaign, May had been winning support to stay on for several years, rather than being forced out quickly.
One member of the backbench 1922 Committee told HuffPost UK that they wanted her to stay in post as a “caretaker PM” for at least three years, and then hand over to a new leader. But few expected her to lead the party five years from now.