The former Tory chair, whose own sordid history has been well-covered on This Site in the past, has emerged as the man behind the inevitable plot to oust Theresa May from the Tory leadership and from 10 Downing Street:
Some cabinet ministers privately agree Theresa May should step aside, a former Conservative party chairman has said, as pressure grows on the prime minister to call a leadership election.
Grant Shapps, who served as Tory chair for nearly three years, has emerged as the ringleader of a backbench plot to force May to step down. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the solution to the leadership crisis was not “to bury our heads in the sand”.
Shapps said he had the support of about 30 MPs, including five former cabinet ministers, and suggested some cabinet ministers privately agreed but would be reluctant to back him because they were on the “payroll”.
Shapps said he had hoped to speak to the prime minister privately but the Tory party whips had unmasked him in the Times newspaper. He revealed that No 10 was aware of his discontent and had urged him not to go public.
He said the group of MPs supporting him included Brexiters and those who supported remaining in the European Union.
Unfortunately, the fact that it is Grant Shapps, and that his own reputation isn’t spotless, means some are already seeing this as a storm in a teacup:
Fact that Grant Shapps is the name most commonly mentioned around efforts to remove May is best indication she'll survive.
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) October 6, 2017
This Site has already commented on reports that Mrs May was being “bullied” towards resignation by Boris Johnson, with Conservative donors saying she should stand down.
Twitter has, of course, been full of gossip about the latest crisis to hit to Tories:
Conservative MPs are spending part of today in meetings plotting how to get rid of Theresa May. 50% chance she will be gone within a week.
— Labour Insider (@Labour_Insider) October 5, 2017
Tory MP tells me there's a "50% chance TM will resign by Friday…it’s a disaster. The question is – is it a worse disaster if she goes?"
— Tamara Cohen (@tamcohen) October 5, 2017
— Rachael (@Rachael_Swindon) October 5, 2017
Fundamental worry of majority of Tory MPs that removing May risks an election which would result in PM Corbyn still holding I’m told
— Arj Singh (@singharj) October 5, 2017
One other things driving current dynamic is there's now an even bigger "Stop Boris" mood amongst ministers as MPs than a "Dump May" mood.
— (((Dan Hodges))) (@DPJHodges) October 5, 2017
Honestly by this stage I think keeping May makes a GE more likely. https://t.co/VJAI0hwkqU
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) October 5, 2017
Was going to say, the writing's on the wall for the Tories, but it actually fell off the wall….
— jen wood (@unojen_wood) October 4, 2017
It’s all very enjoyable for those of us who aren’t Conservatives, but it is worth reminding everybody that this is a dangerous distraction at a time when the United Kingdom – as a world economy – is extremely vulnerable.
Just by having a debate about Mrs May’s leadership, the Tories have caused another run on the value of Sterling:
Tories spark a run on the Pound https://t.co/cfSQDXJbtq
— steve hawkes (@steve_hawkes) October 5, 2017
Brexit represents huge threats to the UK, as does the underlying economic weakness of the country due to Conservative mismanagement.
A leadership election and the arrival of a replacement will not lead to any improvement in these serious issues.
The only solution is the resignation of the Tories and the election of a Labour government that is prepared for these challenges.
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