May in fight to stay on as PM


OPEN war­fare has erupted in the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment as Tory MPs brawl pub­licly over whether to de­pose Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May.

For­mer Con­ser­va­tive Party chair­man and cur­rent MP Grant Shapps was outed by Mrs May’s al­lies as the ring­leader of a coup at­tempt claimed to have signed up at least 30 dis­en­chanted MPs.

A to­tal of 48 are needed to trig­ger a lead­er­ship spill, al­though some rebels are be­lieved to have adopted the strat­egy of try­ing to force Mrs May to through pub­lic pres­sure.

Mrs May was be­ing fur­ther pres­sured to sack For­eign Min­is­ter Boris Johnston, who is ac­cused of dis­loy­alty by usurp­ing her po­si­tion on Brexit and ar­gu­ing poli­cies at odds with hers.

EU diplo­mats seized on the tur­moil, brief­ing jour­nal­ists that they be­lieved Mrs May did not have the au­thor­ity to suc­cess­fully ne­go­ti­ate a Brexit deal. re­sign

Mr Shapps, whose name was leaked to The Times as lead­ing the at­tempted coup, did not re­treat but rather dou­bled down, call­ing for change.

“I think it’s time we ac­tu­ally tackle this is­sue of lead­er­ship and so do many col­leagues,” he told the BBC. “We wanted to present that to Theresa May pri­vately. Now I’m afraid it’s be­ing done a bit more pub­licly.

“I think it’s time that we have a lead­er­ship elec­tion now, or at least let’s set out that timetable.”

Mrs May has been un­der pres­sure af­ter her dis­as­trous de­ci­sion to call an early elec­tion cost the Con­ser­va­tives ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment in June.

The ten­sions es­ca­lated in re­cent days af­ter she muffed the speech meant to re-es­tab­lish her po­lit­i­cal au­thor­ity – she was am­bushed by a prankster and suf­fered a cough­ing fit that al­most stopped her speak­ing.

Nursing a cold yes­ter­day, she told re­porters: “What the coun­try needs is calm lead­er­ship and that’s what I am pro­vid­ing with the full sup­port of my cabi­net.” Me­la­nia Trump seemed in­spired by Latin cul­ture in her choice of dress as she sup­ported her hus­band at a His­panic Her­itage Month event in the White House yes­ter­day.

The 47-year-old First Lady wore a bright red skirt with a fig­ure-hug­ging off-white top, rem­i­nis­cent of tra­di­tional fla­menco-style skirts.

Pres­i­dent Trump in­vited more than 200 His­panic busi­ness, com­mu­nity and faith lead­ers from across the coun­try to join him.

He has ran­kled His­pan­ics with his tough im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies and he drew sharp crit­i­cism for his ini­tial slow re­sponse af­ter Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

Yes­ter­day he told the guests in a bad Span­ish ac­cent that “We love Pueeeeerto Ri­coooo”.

Theresa May

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