Brexit news: Theresa May facing no-confidence vote as grassroots Tories plot to oust PM

Theresa May could face an unprecedented no-confidence vote among grassroots Tories as local party chairman look to trigger a little-known process that could be “devastating to her authority”.

Party chairs have been circulating a petition that is on course to force the National Conservative Convention to hold an extraordinary general meeting where the vote could be held, according to the daily BBC Newslight.

The plot is being driven by growing “frustration and anger” over the prime minister’sBrexit  strategy, and comes as talks between Ms May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn continue to stall.

Theresa May’s Brexit strategy has endangered MPs, undermined parliamentary democracy, and wasted billions of pounds, according to Labour politician Pat McFadden.

Writing in The Independent, the MP for Wolverhampton South Eastsays his party leader Jeremy Corbyn must now answer “the call of leadership” by taking “co-ownership” of a Brexit deal or insisting on a second referendum.

Opinion: May’s Brexit strategy has put MPs in danger and wasted billions – Britain deserves a real leader, It should not be left to backbench MPs to defend Parliamentary democracy when the leader of our country undermines it and legitimises its rejection.

Lib Dem leader Vince Cable has has said it would “be better” if Remain-supporting political parties were “fighting together under the same banner” in the forthcoming European elections.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today this morning, Sir Vince acknowledged there was “not a great deal” of difference between his party’s message to the electorate and that of new party Change UK – The Independent Group, which will stand on a pro-EU platform calling for a second referendum.

He added:  “So, there’s a variety of different parties offering the same message, something which is possible under the proportional voting system that we have.

“It’s not crazy, I mean it would be better, I think, from the point of view of the supporters of British membership of the EU if we were fighting together under the same banner, and certainly that’s something we would like to have seen, but that wasn’t possible, we didn’t get a positive reaction to that, so we are going on our own.”

A grassroots no-confidence vote would put “massive pressure” on the prime minister resign, according to John Strafford, chair of the Campaign for Conservative Democracy.

“It does not force the issue but would be quite devastating to her authority,” he told the Telegraph.

However, it is worth considering just how much authority Theresa May has left.

Mark Wallace, writing for ConservativeHome, notes that a no-confidence vote “would be another embarrassment for the prime minister, but she has ridden out many embarrassments before”.

Theresa May could face an unprecedented no-confidence vote among grassroots Tories as local party chairman look to trigger a little-known process that could be “devastating to her authority”.

Party chairs have been circulating a petition that could force the National Conservative Convention – the most senior body of the Tories’ voluntary wing – to hold an extraordinary general meeting where the vote could be held.

If the petition attracts more than 65 signatures, the party is obliged to hold the meeting. According to the daily,

between 40 and 50 chairs have already signed it and that figure could hit the threshold as early as next week.

Dinah Glover, the London East area chairman started the petition, told the newspaper: “There is a lot of frustration and anger within the party – this is a route that we have to demonstrate those feelings so we can encourage MPs to make those feelings known.

“What we need is a new leader who can break the impasse, who passionately believes that Britain has a bright Brexit future.”