Grassroots Conservative activists will try to press Theresa May to stand down as prime minister by forcing an extraordinary general meeting to allow a vote of no confidence from party members.
The vote would not be binding on the prime minister, but the National Conservative Convention (NCC) would be obliged to hold the meeting if more than 65 Tory association chairs called for one to be held.
The attempt, first reported by the Telegraph, has been organised by the Conservatives’ London East area chairman, Dinah Glover. The number of signatories has not been disclosed but Glover said she was confident of reaching the threshold imminently.
“It’s a snowball, we will definitely meet the numbers and exceed it,” she said. “It has been building for a lot of people. People were particularly angry when it became apparent that we were not leaving on 29 March, that was a very low point when we lost members.
“Taking part in the EU elections is also a very physical reminder that Brexit has not been delivered. It is a very public humiliation, as is going into negotiations with Jeremy Corbyn.”
The motion drafted by Glover says the party “no longer feel that Mrs May is the right person to continue as prime minister to lead us forward in the negotiations.
It adds: “We therefore with great reluctance ask that she considers her position and resigns, to allow the Conservative party to choose another leader, and the country to move forward and negotiate our exit from the EU.”
An extraordinary meeting of the NCC – the members’ body comprised of about 800 senior party officers – has never been called in the past and members would need to be given at least 28 days’ notice of the meeting. Party sources also suggested there would be no obligation to act quickly. Read more