The Lead PM fears lead­er­ship chal­lenge from min­is­ter An­drea Leadsom

Sunday Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - BY NIGEL NEL­SON Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor and KEIR MUDIE Deputy Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

THERESA May fears old ri­val An­drea Leadsom will launch a sec­ond bid to oust her in any lead­er­ship con­test.

A top Tory source says the Com­mons leader has not given up on her No 10 am­bi­tions.

With Boris John­son wounded by gaffes and Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis’s swag­ger putting off MPs, stri­dent Brex­i­teer Ms Leadsom would be the com­pro­mise can­di­date.

The source said: “If the PM goes down she’s wait­ing in the wings. She won’t launch a chal­lenge her­self, but she’ll be in there if there is one.”

Mrs Leadsom, 54, won 66 MPs’ sup­port as she came sec­ond to Mrs May in the first round of vot­ing in the July 2016 lead­er­ship bat­tle.

DE­MOTED

Shapps is still try­ing to gather more sup­port to top­ple the PM. He claims to have 30 MPs and needs 48 to trig­ger a con­test. But plot­ters have started melt­ing away af­ter Chief Whip Gavin Wil­liamson saw to the out­ing of the ex-party chair­man as chief con­spir­a­tor.

Tory MP Nigel Evans said he would be sur­prised if Mr Shapps has more than eight names now.

He added: “This is more a tantrum than a plot. Grant is just up­set the PM doesn’t ap­pre­ci­ate his great­ness. The whips did an amaz­ing job to flush him out.”

But a lead­ing rebel told the Sun­day Mir­ror Mr Wil­liamson’s ac­tions make a lead­er­ship con­test more likely. The source said Mr Shapps has con­sid­er­able sup­port and had hoped to lead a del­e­ga­tion to No 10 to dis­cuss Mrs May’s de­par­ture date.

Among those known to be un­happy with her are ex-Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Nicky Mor­gan, ex-In­dus­try Min­is­ter Anna Soubry and for­mer Tory chief whip An­drew Mitchell.

The rebel said: “We were try­ing to have a con­ver­sa­tion with the PM, now our only op­tion is to put let­ters in for a con­test.

“Some of us were happy for Mrs May to con­clude Brexit and go in 2019. Oth­ers feel she should go by the end of the year.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.