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British PM May given unemployment form by a heckler during speech

07 October 2017, 12:45 | Marta Robbins

The chancellor hands Theresa May a sweet as she struggles to contain a coughReuters

The chancellor hands Theresa May a sweet as she struggles to contain a cough

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May just lived out every one of your public speaking nightmares during the annual U.K. Conservative Party conference.

Former Tory chairman Grant Shapps was revealed overnight as one of those behind the bid to remove the Prime Minister from office but has been blasted by MPs.

The number of rebels falls short of the 48 lawmakers needed to trigger a formal leadership challenge under party rules, but the plot further rattles May's shaky grip on power.

Mr Shapps was named by the Times as the leader of a group of around 30 Tory MPs planning to send a delegation to Mrs May to tell her she must go.

"We do not want another election".

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

May has struggled to reassert her authority since calling the snap election in June, only to lose the Conservatives' majority in the House of Commons.

Theresa May tried to make light of her persistent cough throughout her keynote conference speech with a light-hearted tweet surrounded by cough medicine.

'Issue of collusion' with Russian Federation still open, Senate intel chief says
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"I think the damage that would be done to the party if she was forced out would be enormous, and like many others I hope she herself will conclude that the best thing would be to go".

Veteran backbencher Michael Fabricant said of Shapps: "I wouldn't buy a used vehicle from one embittered colleague - let alone take advice from him about who should be PM". She said the government wants Brexit negotiations to succeed, but is also preparing for a scenario in which they could fail.

"What the country needs is calm leadership and that's what I'm providing with the full support of my cabinet", May told reporters in her constituency in Maidenhead, west of London.

Grant Shapps says the prime minister can not recover following disastrous party conference speech.

The Daily Telegraph writes that Theresa May's political future was left hanging in the balance after her disastrous conference speech left her feeling "extremely distraught".

"It's been really hard for her but we really are behind her".

Charles Walker, the vice-chairman of the influential Tory backbench 1922 Committee, slapped down Shapps, saying: "No 10 must be delighted that it's Grant Shapps leading this alleged coup".

'It never worked out for Brown or Major and I don't think it is going to work out here either'. The move by a politician known for his leadership ambitions was viewed as an attempt to goad the prime minister, and many saw her failure to sack him as a proof of her weakness.



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