May 'faces cabinet coup' as ministers warn she has 'days left'

Rebecca Taylor, news reporter

Theresa May has days left in Downing Street amid a cabinet coup to oust her, according to several reports.

Speculation the prime minister will be ousted is at fever pitch, with The Sunday Times reporting 11 cabinet ministers had told them they want Mrs May to move aside and make way for a replacement.

Her de facto deputy David Lidington has been named as her potential caretaker replacement, while several are said to be ready to throw their weight behind Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Her former policy adviser George Freeman tweeted it was "all over for the PM", adding: "She's done her best. But across the country you can see the anger.

"Everyone feels betrayed. Government's gridlocked. Trust in democracy collapsing. This can't go on. We need a new PM who can reach out (and) build some sort of coalition for a Plan B."

Former education secretary Nicky Morgan told The Sunday Telegraph cabinet ministers should tell her "it's time to go" while backbench Brexiteer Steve Baker says potential leadership contenders should "act now".

Conservative backbencher Ann-Marie Trevelyan wrote: "We now need a leader who believes in our country and wants to take her on the next stage of her journey."

According to Buzzfeed, the prime minister was told to think about leaving office by several of her whips during a meeting, but Mrs May was "unmoved", refusing to believe it would make any difference to the deal.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, former Brexit secretary David Davis said leaving on World Trade Organisation terms, also called a no-deal Brexit, looked "much better than the other options in front of us".

He said: "If parliament rejects the deal on offer, the prime minister has it in her power to deliver a WTO outcome. That is what she should do.

"And if some ministers resign as a result? That would be a pity, but there are always volunteers to replace every departure."

It comes as up to one million people marched through London to demand a 'People's Vote', calling for the deal to be put to the people with the option to remain in the European Union.

Pro-Brexit campaigners are continuing their march from the North East to the capital, and on Saturday, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage addressed some of the supporters.

Mrs May spent the weekend on the campaign trail in Milton Keynes and in her country retreat of Chequers, no doubt mulling over the events of a turbulent week, in which she had blamed MPs for the Brexit delay and then said she may not bring her deal back to the Commons for a third time if there was not enough support to pass it.

She came under fire for a speech which blamed MPs for the impasse, saying "all MPs have been willing to say is what they don't want".

In a letter to parliamentarians on Friday she appeared to apologise, and said she might not bring the deal back again, writing: "If it appears that there is not sufficient support to bring the deal back next week, or the House rejects it again, we can ask for another extension before 12 April."

She also acknowledged the "difficult job" all MPs face, and said it was not her intention to make it harder.

Mrs May said she was holding Brexit meetings over the weekend, sharing pictures as she joined local election efforts in Milton Keynes.