Theresa May is facing a showdown with Conservative MPs amid anger over the way the party saw its majority wiped out in the UK’s General Election.
The Prime Minister sought to stave off another Tory civil war ahead of her appearance before the backbench 1922 Committee by bringing former justice secretary Michael Gove in from the cold less than a year after she sacked him. His appointment as Environment Secretary came after former chancellor George Osborne branded her a “dead woman walking”, warning that she could be ousted from No 10 in a matter of days.
However other senior Tories – including Graham Brady, the influential chairman of the ’22 – predicted MPs would rally round, insisting there was no mood in the party for a damaging leadership contest which could see them plunged into a fresh general election. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson brushed off claims he was plotting a fresh leadership bid, insisting that he fully supported the Prime Minister.
“To those that say the PM should step down, or that we need another election or even – God help us – a second referendum, I say come off it. Get a grip, everyone,” he wrote in an article for The Sun. “The people of Britain have had a bellyful of promises and politicking. Now is the time for delivery – and Theresa May is the right person to continue that vital work.”
Mrs May signalled that she still intended to serve a full term. “I said during the election campaign that if re-elected I would intend to serve a full term,” she told reporters in No 10.