British PM May should call a leadership contest, former party chairman says

Theresa May's new shoes

May had bet that the snap election would give her stronger mandate as she would be able to increase the working majority, instead, she is now forced to lead a minority government with her own party members looking to stab on her back.

"But people who are dispassionate and look at this realise probably the time is to have a leadership election".

The already febrile mood was heightened by Mrs May's conference address in Manchester when a prankster managed to hand her a fake P45, part of the stage set fell down, and she struggled with a persistent cough.

Former Conservative chairman Grant Shapps said there are around 30 MPs, including five former cabinet ministers, who are now willing to publicly call for the prime minister to stand down.

The BBC quoted May as saying the country needed "calm leadership" adding: "That's what I'm providing".

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The Sun, Britain's most popular newspaper, said a bid to topple May had been brewing since her speech on Wednesday at the annual Conservative Party conference but rebel lawmakers had not yet gathered the numbers to oust her. We've not really managed to see that relaunch.

Senior ministers continued to rally around Mrs May, with Environment Secretary Michael Gove - who ran against her in last year's leadership election - insisting there was no need for a contest.

Speaking on BBC 5 live Mr Shapps said: "We did have a result that was not at all what anyone wanted, least of all what she wanted or anticipated, and. sometimes when things happen you have to take responsibility for them".

"There should be some very serious questions - that could have been a terrorist", said Tory MP George Freeman, the head of the Prime Minister's policy board. "It is time for a change and it is not just the Prime Minister - with due respect to her - it isn't just the Prime Minister, it's the shambolic lot behind her who are pretending they know what they are doing when they clearly don't". "She showed an awesome degree of resilience and courage this week of a piece with the fantastic leadership she's shown throughout the time she has been prime minister". He said it was unclear if there would be enough support to topple May.

The latest round of political uncertainty surrounding May pushed down the value of the pound against the euro and the dollar on currency markets.

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