Grant Shapps has blamed Downing Street and Conservative Party whips for making a list of supposedly rebel Tory MPs seeking to oust Theresa May public.
The MP for Welwyn Hatfield has been named as a ringerleader in a motion to begin a leadership contest to challenge the Prime Minister.
In an interview on the Full Set Breakfast, he told our hosts Paul Ross and Carole Malone he and the reported 30 other 'plotters' had been hoping to deal with this behind closed doors.
He said: "A lot of colleagues got together over a period of time to go to her privately.
"That was this list, and it was private until the whips, bizarrely, decided to make it public yesterday.
"The timing is out because, for whatever reason, going into the conference Number 10 called me and asked not to discuss it there.
"Then yesterday, journalists contacted me and told me the whips are saying 'you’ve got the list.'
"The timing of it is in their hands rather than mine."
The MP for Welwyn Hatfield also told our hosts the election wiped out the Prime Minister's authority.
"Theresa May, quite rightly, and we respected her for saying it, said she’d serve as long as you want me to.
"The problem you’ve seen this last week – and I’m talking about the disarray during the summer and during the conference in the cabinet – is that the authority has gone and it went with the election failing so badly.
"I think we’d prefer if she went sooner rather than later, but the timescale is something she should set out."