Theresa May could be replaced as prime minister in as little as two weeks, a Tory MP has claimed.
Andrea Jenkyns said May should be ditched in favour of a party leader who “genuinely believes in Brexit”.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph ahead of May’s showdown with Tory backbenchers this evening, Jenkyns said the party had to “act now” to oust the PM.
“This whole process could be done within two to three weeks. There is no reason why the parliamentary party can’t narrow down the two candidates in a few days,” she said.
Jenkyns said if John Major could replace Margaret Thatcher on the eve of the Gulf War in 1990 then there was no reason May could not be replaced during the Brexit talks.
It comes as the number of Tory MPs publicly committed to oppose her Chequers blueprint for leaving the EU reached 50.
May will meet critics at the backbench 1922 Committee in Parliament just days after one anonymous opponent suggested she should “bring her own noose” to the gathering.
Westminster has been awash with speculation that the number of Conservative MPs submitting letters calling for her removal is approaching the 48 needed to trigger a no confidence vote in her leadership.
Tonight’s meeting follows fresh revelations about the government’s plans for a no-deal Brexit, with alternative measures to secure supplies of food and medicines from the continent being investigated in case of chaos on the English Channel crossing.
And in developments which will cause further unease among Tory Brexiteers, leaked Cabinet papers obtained by The Times indicated the transition period during which the UK will remain tied to Brussels could turn into a “long-running” arrangement lasting years.
The option of extending the transition period has been put forward as a way of resolving the impasse over the Irish frontier by giving extra time to find a mechanism to avoid a hard border.