Theresa May suffered a blow less than an hour before her keynote speech at the Conservative party conference as one of her own MPs called for her to be removed as party leader.
Rochford and Southend East MP James Duddridge has submitted a letter of no confidence in Theresa May, claiming she was "incapable" of providing strong leadership.
In his letter to the chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, Mr Duddridge - who served as a whip and junior minister under David Cameron - said the Conservatives need "a strong leader, someone who believes in Brexit and someone to deliver what the electorate voted for".
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He added: "The Prime Minister seems incapable of doing this. I have not met a single MP who thinks she will lead us into another election after the last disastrous snap election."
"I write this with heavy heart, however we now need a proper leadership election and to move on."
Sir Graham is required to call a no-confidence vote in Mrs May if he receives 48 letters from MPs. It is not known how many he has so far received.