How can the Tories remove Theresa May as Prime Minister?

Theresa May’s position as Prime Minister could be under threat as some Conservative MPs move to oust her
Theresa May’s position as Prime Minister could be under threat as some Conservative MPs move to oust her

Theresa May appears to have dodged a bullet in the past few days after Grant Shapps’ claim that 30 MPS want her gone came to nothing.

It came after a disastrous party conference speech, with Mrs May seemingly encountering one disaster after another.

But the divisive splits within the party remain very active and it is unlikely the plotters have gone away for good.

Read more at Yahoo News UK:

Theresa May insists she has ‘full support’ of Cabinet after leadership challenge
A senior Tory MP is leading a plot to oust Theresa May ‘sooner rather than later’
Who are the Tory factions plotting to get rid of Theresa May?

So, if the PM doesn’t resign – which she shows no sign of doing – how can they force a leadership challenge?

The rules

To trigger a contest, Conservative Party rules state 15% of current party MPs have to write to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, saying they have no confidence in the current leader.

This would mean 48 MPs would have to write to the current leader of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady MP.

This would allow him to trigger a contest.

What next?

To get on the ballot, potential candidates need to have the support of at least two fellow MPs.

If there are more than two candidates who meet this requirement, Conservative MPs will vote until the field has been whittled down to just two.

What happened last time?

In 2016, five candidates ran to succeed David Cameron – Theresa May, Andrea Leadsom, Michael Gove, Stephen Crabb and Dr Liam Fox.

Dr Fox and Mr Crabb were eliminated first, while Michael Gove was the next to go.

With just two candidates left, Conservative party members then vote on a “one member, one vote” basis.

However, Ms Leadsom withdrew before the vote could happen in 2016, leaving Ms May as the uncontested winner to become leader.

How likely is a coup?

Any attempt by Mr Shapps is likely doomed to failure – his own lack of popularity within the Conservative Party, combined with the fact figures including Michael Gove have leapt to her defence, should see any move by such a lesser light staved off.

Some experts have said that those jockeying for position are waiting for Brexit negotiations to be completed arguing who in their right mind would want to take over such a poisoned chalice?

Who indeed?