Tory plotters get desperate with bad language and hopeless plans
There are a couple of massive flaws in the latest ruse to get rid of the PM.
As Conservative MPs become increasingly desperate to get rid of Theresa May, some are resorting to rather unpleasant language.
In an article in the Sunday Times, a former Tory minister was quoted as saying: "The moment is coming when the knife gets heated, stuck in her front and twisted. She'll be dead soon." There was widespread shock at the comments in Westminster. Especially when the Sunday Times' political editor insisted that they were not uttered by Tory MP Andrew Bridgen.
Meanwhile as some Tory MPs have been venting their spleen about the prime minister, others have been thinking about what they can do to get rid of her.
Some 23 years ago, John Major spectacularly put his five-year tenure of Downing Street on the line when he resigned his leadership of the Conservative Party. Famously, Major invited dissidents to "put up or shut up" as he remained prime minister.
Now at least one plotter appears to be looking back to 1995 for inspiration. The anonymous figure “who has form when it comes to removing Tory leaders” set out his cunning plan to The Spectator’s James Forsyth on Sunday.
“The theory goes that May would be left as party leader but replaced as Prime Minister. Her successor as PM would promise to face the members soon as possible after Britain has formally left the EU on 29th March, 2019,” he wrote.
The appeal of this plan is that it could be pulled off quickly, without the hassle of balloting Tory members in the country. But there are also a couple of enormous downsides.
As Forsyth points out, one major flaw is that it would require candidates such as Boris Johnson who are popular with Tory members to accept only MPs voting. Another is that it would require Tory MPs from three different Brexit factions to all to agree on a replacement PM.
In other words, it’s not going to happen in a million years. So back to the drawing board…