Cabinet Ministers come out in support of Theresa May amid rumours of Tory rebellion

Theresa May's allies publicly rallied round their embattled leader as opponents plotted to force her out.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd insisted the British Prime Minister "should stay" despite the "presentation fails" in her calamitous conference speech and Margot James attacked sacked ministers for wanting to "get their own back".

Former party chairman Grant Shapps said the Conservatives "must look for a new leader" after he was accused of leading a plot to oust the PM.

Ms Rudd called on the party to look at the policies set out at the Tory conference instead of the "presentation fails".

In an article for The Daily Telegraph in England, she said: "We, Theresa May's Government, want to ... set out a better path, one that actually leads to a prosperous, secure and united country.

"We can do that, and we will under her leadership. She should stay.

"Do not doubt that the Prime Minister's absolute commitment to tackling the injustices is a real one. And as the Prime Minister also said this week, we are at a turning point for the nation.

"Trust that it is us who will take Britain in the right direction."

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said the comments were "spot on".

Business minister Ms James hit out in The Times at "ex-ministers who are extremely embittered individuals who just want to get their own back on the fact they don't feel recognised".

Critics of the PM were said to be attempting to "drum up" a delegation of around 30 MPs to tell her she has lost support and must resign.

Challenged by The Times on whether he was behind a push to pressurise the PM into quitting, Mr Shapps said: "I think having lost an election the party must look for a new leader to take us forward."

Ed Vaizey, who was sacked by Mrs May when she became Prime Minister, said he found it "increasingly difficult" to see a way forward under her leadership.

He told BBC Oxford: "I think there will be quite a few people who will now be pretty firmly of the view that she should resign.

"The Tory Party conference was a great opportunity to reboot the party and therefore reboot the country to give it a clear sense of direction, and that didn't happen.

"So yes, I am concerned. I am finding it increasingly difficult to see a way forward at the moment, and it worries me."

Behind the scenes, senior Conservatives insisted most MPs still believed she should carry on for the sake of the party in the face of the threat from a resurgent Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.

However, there was said to be growing pressure for a Cabinet reshuffle among loyalists angry at the repeated challenges to her authority by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

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.

Under party rules, 48 MPs would need to write to the party's backbench 1922 Committee expressing no confidence in Mrs May in order to trigger a leadership contest.


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