Pressure on Theresa May is ramping up as former Tory chairman Grant Shapps MP has asserted that his colleagues are “perfectly within their rights” to call for Mrs May’s resignation following her disastrous performance in June’s general election.
Mr Shapps went on to admit that he was actively involved in the move to oust Mrs May, and confirmed that up to 30 Tory MPs also favour of a change of leadership. It comes in the wake of a keynote conference speech that was supposed to relaunch her leadership on the national stage, but ended up in chaos.
Speaking to 5Live’s Stephen Nolan, Shapps warned that “she should call a leadership election. This is a view I’ve held for quite some time. Quite a lot of colleagues feel the same, including five former cabinet ministers.”
As a significant figure within the Conservative Party, Mr Shapps’ decision to go public with his criticism of the Prime Minister will lend credibility to the idea that her time is up.
Conservative Party rules require 15% of the parliamentary party to write to Graham Brady, the chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee, to trigger a leadership election without the resignation of the incumbent leader. With the current size of the parliamentary party, that would mean 48 MPs are needed to force Mrs May’s decision.
Sky News’ Tamara Cohen claims to have been told by sources within the parliamentary Conservative party that there is a “50% chance TM will resign by Friday”. We won’t be getting our hopes up, but wheels are certainly in motion. If Tories want to win again, they’ll use this opportunity to choose a leader who can speak to the nation by genuinely believing in Brexit.
But while chaos ensues in the British government, Polish President Andrzej Duda has shown real strength by hitting out at Brussels elites over the ongoing migrant quota controversy. His hard-line government is enjoying great popularity in Poland and his stock is only set to rise further after giving a clear warning to the EU that “we do not agree to being dictated to, against the Polish people’s will, as regards the quota system, as regards forcible relocation of people to Poland”.
The resistance is part of a broader push around Europe for greater autonomy, with the Catalan independence referendum from last weekend acting as a beacon for those around the continent who want more control over their own affairs.
Later this month two wealthy regions of Italy – Lombardy and Veneto – will vote in referenda on regional autonomy, led by Matteo Salvini’s Eurosceptic Lega Nord party. We’ll find out the results on October 22, but it’s clearer than ever that the establishment’s plan to centralise power in Brussels has gone completely off the rails.