Senior Cabinet have refused to back Theresa May (pictured at church yesterday) as PM
Senior members of Theresa May’s Cabinet yesterday refused publicly to back her remaining Prime Minister for the long term.
Chancellor Philip Hammond and Commons leader Andrea Leadsom declined to say how long they believed she could stay in Number 10.
Asked how much time Mrs May had left, Mr Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘I think what the country needs now is a period of calm while we get on with the job at hand.
‘Theresa is leading the Government and I think the Government needs to get on with its job.’
Mrs Leadsom, who challenged Mrs May for the leadership before pulling out of the race, also refused to be drawn on the PM’s future.
Asked when the right time for her to go would be, she told BBC One’s Sunday Politics: ‘You can’t see into the future. We have seen a lot of change in recent weeks and months.
‘The Prime Minister has done a fantastic job in bringing the country back to a good place since she’s been the leader and the Prime Minister.
‘She is absolutely determined to continue and she has the backing of her party.’
Mrs Leadsom sidestepped a question over whether Mrs May would lead the party into next election, saying only ‘I don’t look into the future’.
Asked if she would like another go at running for leader, she replied: ‘I’m completely backing Theresa May as our Prime Minister.’
Philip Hammond (left) remained coy on the subject while speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr, while Andrea Leadsom (right) also declined to give Mrs May her backing
London Minister Greg Hands dismissed reports that Tory MPs had told Mrs May she had 10 days to save her position, saying the party was ‘united’ in its support of the Prime Minister.
He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: ‘I don’t recognise that.
‘I’ve not heard this and what I did see on Monday when Theresa May addressed the whole parliamentary party in the House of Commons was a party united and in support of our Prime Minister, getting on with the job of delivering a programme for government, which we will see on Wednesday in the Queen’s Speech, starting the Brexit talks tomorrow.
‘There is a lot going on, dealing with the consequence, dealing with the immediacy of the Grenfell Tower fire.
‘All of these things of course, there is quite a lot in the in-tray, but the Prime Minister is getting on with it.’
Former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who was forced out as Conservative leader in 2003, said Tory colleagues should back Mrs May to prevent Mr Corbyn from becoming PM.
Former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who was forced out as Conservative leader in 2003, said Tory colleagues should back Mrs May to prevent Mr Corbyn from becoming PM
‘The reality is we need stability now, we don’t need silly people in the Conservative Party with big mouths and small brains running around the place trying to tell everybody what they are going to do,’ he told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday.
‘I think what they should do now is do what the rest of us want to do, which is try and support the Government because the big threat – you look into the abyss and it grins back at you with a short-cropped grey beard and very Marxist ideology.
‘So we don’t want to see that govern Britain and therefore we have to get stable behind the Prime Minister and make sure that at the end of it all that she has the strength and the focus to go on and govern as her government does.’