Theresa May plot: Former leader of Tory backbench committee accuses Grant Shapps of undermining Brexit negotiations

Theresa May: 'MPs only calling for leadership election as conference blows everything out of perspective'

Theresa May coughed through her conference speech

Friday, October 6, 2017

The former head of the Tories' powerful backbench committee has blasted Grant Shapp's leadership plot, suggesting a change of leader would undermine Britain's position in the Brexit negotiations.

Nick De Bois also said it was "not that surprising" that 30 people want to remove Theresa May, adding that those who are attempting to oust the Prime Minister are "self-important."

Former Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has said there should be a Tory leadership election. He claims he has the backing of 30 MPs so far, following Theresa May's poor speech at her party conference.

But De Bois - who previously served as secretary of the 1922 Committee - said Shapps' attempts to unseat May were misguided, saying "most MPs thinking about their country will understand it would be a serious undermining of our position if we changed leader now whatever the shortcomings of Theresa May.

"I would ask all [the plotters] just to contemplate that if they think ditching the Prime Minister halfway through these really tough negotiaions that will affect Britain for generations, are they really doing the right thing?

"What [they] are doing is not in the country's interests."

De Bois added that he had no idea why Shapps has mounted this challenge, but he said there was probably some "personal ambition" involved and the plotters were being driven by frustrated personal ambition.

He added that it is hardly an achievement to gain the support of 30 colleagues, saying: "When I was serving in that Parliament 2010/15 David Cameron regularly had his detractors

"Having 30 people willing to sign a letter against a sitting Prime Minister as a vote of no confidence is, frankly, not that surprising

"There are the disaffected, there are the grumpy, that have missed out on promotion and there will be those, in this case of course, who do not like the direction of travel [on Brexit]."

Many have suggested that May's credibility is shredded after her disastrous speech at the Tory Party Conference.

But De Bois said: "The idea that we change the leader of the party because the Prime Minister had a coughing it, that we're all subject to... I mean it really is utter nonsense."


Listen to the full interview above