A Conservative MP has said Theresa May will stay as Prime Minister unless she is "forced out", but described a potential leadership challenge as "bonkers."
Dr Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the Liaison Committee and the Health Select Committee in the House of Commons, believes it is now more than likely that we will see a challenge to Theresa May's leadership.
Talking to talkRADIO, Dr Wollaston told Julia Hartley-Brewer that now "is not the time" for a leadership election when there's only 133 days left until we leave the European Union.
On Thursday afternoon, Chair of the ERG, Jacob Rees-Mogg went public by submitting a letter of no confidence in Ms May - with reports suggesting many more would follow.
“I think it is likely there will be a leadership election which I very much regret that," said Dr Wollaston.
"We’re 133 days until we could end up falling over the edge of a cliff crashing out with a no deal and do we need to throw a leadership challenge into the mix at such an important time? I don’t think we did.
"I think Jacob Rees-Mogg's grouping of Conservative MPs want her out and now the DUP will collapse the deal unless she goes, so I think it is inevitable that we’re going to have a challenge. I think she is going to stay unless she is forced out, as many people have said to me she’s got an extraordinary sense of duty and resilience.”
“I would say, we’ve got to deal with the situation as we find it, we are where we are. There's only 133 days until we could crash out, now is not the time for people to be stepping back and have a few months of leadership challenges, it’s bonkers.”
'We should go back to the people'
The campaign for a People's Vote has been putting increasing pressure on the government to hold a second referendum on the deal that sees us leave the European Union.
Dr Wollaston, an advocate for a People's Vote, has said the "reality" of Brexit has brought us to a "desperately worrying" situation.
“Well, I think it is desperately worrying situation, what we have now is Brexit reality, which is a lot more difficult, everyone was promised in the campaign that it would be the easiest deal in history.
"This is Brexit reality and you can’t fit the round peg into the square hole when it comes to the Northern Ireland issue, there’s a huge number of issues that actually the reality and complexity of this situation we’ve been confronted it, it is absolutely appalling situation we’re in and I think we should go back to the Brexit and ask them if this is what they meant by Brexit, Parliament can’t decide it, they’ve reached gridlock.”
- Read more: Matt Hancock: Alternatives to Prime Minister's Brexit deal are 'ugly'
- Read more: Alastair Campbell: 'Theresa May is not the problem, Brexit is the problem'
“I’ll use a medical analogy: if you were going into an operating theatre, you would expect the surgeon to set out what the operation is and the risks and benefits. You wouldn’t expect the surgeon to say two years earlier; 'well, we don’t know if we’re going to remove a few toes or your whole leg', and that is effectively what we’re doing.
"We’re going into the operating theatre with this major Brexit surgery with this consent form from two years where nobody knew particularly which type of Brexit it was, now we know exactly what we are dealing with. Now. if you want informed consent, the only valid form of consent is by going back to people, and you say; 'this is the actual surgery, this is what the good things about it, and this is the bad things about it' and let people decide.”