- Theresa May could be ousted within weeks if she refuses to spell out her resignation plans today.
- The prime minister has been told she has until 4 (BST) to announce her plans.
- Failure to do so could force Conservative MPs to change their leadership election rules to allow an early contest.
- Former leadership contender Andrea Leadsom says she is seriously considering standing to be prime minister.
Theresa May has been told by Conservative MPs that she has until 4pm (BST) this afternoon to spell out her resignation plans, or risk being forced out of office within weeks.
The prime minister was told by the chair of the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs, Sir Graham Brady, that she must now spell out the road map for her departure, following the party’s dire performance in last week’s local elections.
May is currently only committed to quitting once she has passed a Brexit deal through parliament an event which looks highly uncertain and could take months. Current party rules also state that she cannot be forced out of office until December this year.
However, if May refuses to spell out the details of her departure plans today, then the executive of the 1922 has the power to change leadership election rules which would allow Conservative MPs to hold a no-confidence vote in the PM which could see her leaving office within weeks.
Allies of the prime minister have reportedly threatened to challenge any change in the rules in court, risking a deeply damaging legal battle between May and her own MPs.
The prime minister’s Deputy David Lidington also signaled yesterday that she would stay at least until the summer recess, meaning any leadership contest would unlikely be completed until the autumn.