Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps calls for leadership contest

PUBLISHED: 10:05 06 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:45 09 October 2017

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps

Archant

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has been involved in gathering a list up to 30 MPs who want Prime Minister Theresa May to step down, it has emerged.

The Conservatives’ former co-chairman told the BBC: “Sometimes when things happen you just have to take responsibility for them and I think that’s what should happen here.

“But this is a view I have held for quite some time, quite a lot of colleagues feel the same way, including five former Cabinet ministers.”

He added: “If a colleague feels the same way they’ve been letting us know and the plan was actually to [do it] entirely quietly and without publicity, so I was sad to see it on the front of The Times today.”

Mr Shapps said the list had been growing and was currently up to around 30 names, although none of those are currently in the Cabinet, and claimed it is “probably the time to have a leadership election”.

Several Tory MPs have thrown their support behind Mrs May, including Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Broxbourne representative Charles Walker.

Taking a swipe at Mr Shapps this morning, Mr Walker told the BBC: “Number 10 must be delighted that it’s Grant Shapps leading this alleged coup.

“Grant has many talents but one thing he doesn’t have is a following in the party, so I really think this is now just going to fizzle out.”

More follows.

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