Who are the Tory factions plotting to get rid of Theresa May?

As Theresa May’s leadership looks increasingly unsteady following her disastrous speech at the Tory Party Conference, various factions have broken out within the Conservatives.

So how has the party divided and who is in whose team?


Factions – former Tory Party Grant Shapps has said he believes Mrs May should face a leadership election (Picture: Getty)

Former Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps has said he believes Mrs May should face a leadership election and has told the BBC he has the backing of about 30 MPs, including five former cabinet ministers.

Mr Shapps resigned while Mr Cameron was still in power amid allegations he failed to act on claims of bullying in the Tories’ youth wing, while fellow former minister Ed Vaizey – who was sacked when Mrs May took office in July 2016 – has also claimed “quite a few” MPs want the PM to go.


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Business minister Margot James has claimed a plot to oust Mrs May was being led by “some ex-Cabinet ministers or ex-ministers who are extremely embittered individuals who just want to get their own back on the fact that they don’t feel recognised”.

Disloyal – newer MPs are thought to be angry at Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson over his apparently overt disloyalty (Picture: AP)

Newer Tory MPs

Many MPs among the 2015/2017 intake are thought to be angry at Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, with some rumoured to have even confronted him face-to-face in Manchester over his apparent disloyalty to the Prime Minister.

Some feel Mr Johnson was overtly disloyal to Mrs May by setting out his Brexit red lines on the eve of the party conference.

MPs elected this year are also unlikely to stand against the Prime Minister, given their relatively short tenure since the election in June.

Boris Johnson’s Allies

Some loyalist Conservative MPs have claimed the Foreign Secretary’s allies are behind the plot to oust the PM but claim Mr Johnson does not have enough support to launch a leadership bid, with 48 MPs required to trigger an election.

Ed Vaizey backed Mr Johnson for the leadership last summer before switching to support Michael Gove’s campaign.

Ed Vaizey has claimed ‘quite a few’ MPs want Mrs May to go (Picture: Getty)


Brexiteers and Remainers

Where MPs stand on Brexit could influence their views on a potential leadership crisis within the Tory party.

Some who backed the Leave campaign may be concerned that any stability within the Government could pose a risk to Brexit, while others may see a leader who backed their side in the referendum is better placed to lead the UK in talks.

Both Mr Vaizey and Mr Shapps backed Remain in the referendum and Nadine Dorries has claimed pro-EU MPs are trying to “delay and possibly destroy” Brexit.