May faces plot to oust her from Downing Street: Sunday Times
12 Nov 2017, 18:34 ( 5 days ago) | updated: 12 Nov 2017, 18:37 ( 5 days ago)
British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a "make or break month" with 40 of her own MPs prepared to force her to resign, the Sunday Times (ST) newspaper in London claimed Sunday.
The blow for the embattled leader comes just 48 hours before the Brexit bill debate in the House of Commons. The bill is seen as the most important piece of legislation paving the way for Britain's exit from the European Union (EU).
More than 400 amendments have been put forward to change the bill which aims to convert all current EU law into British law.
MPs from the main opposition Labour Party are expected to join Conservative rebels in a bid to inflict a series of damaging defeats on the government when voting on the bill takes place later this week.
Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer accused May of ignoring concerns about the withdrawal bill. He told the Observer newspaper that May's government could be heading for defeat on up to 13 amendments tabled by her own rebels.
One of Labour's demands is that parliament, and not ministers, must have the final say on whether to approve the withdrawal agreement and how best to implement it.
On Friday determined May announced the bill will stipulate the precise moment when Britain will cease to be an EU member, which is at 11 p.m. on March 29, 2019.
To add to her woes, May has seen two of her front bench ministers resigning this week, with her own deputy Damian Green under investigation as part of the so-called sex-pest scandal that has engulfed Westminster. There have also been calls for the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to resign over his handling of a British Iranian mom jailed in Iran as a spy.
Just 48 MPs would need to sign a letter of no confidence in May to trigger a challenge to her leadership. Sources told the ST that 40 MPs have so far agreed to sign.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joined the clamour for May to go, saying in the ST that she should govern or go, and claiming the prime minister shows every sign of being in office but not in power.
The ST claimed that privately some Conservative MPs and ministers agree with Corbyn and fear May has become a liability to the Brexit process.
The report quotes an unnamed government minister as saying: "It's a horrible thing to say, but we are getting closer and closer to the point whereby we need some time in opposition to regroup."
Supporters of May responded with claims the attacks are orchestrated by Remain supporters opposed to Brexit.
Brexit Secretary David Davis, who is leading the British negotiating team with Brussels, said Sunday the government will attempt to face down rebels demanding concessions on the withdrawal bill.
The latest round of talks between Davis and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier, ended with Barnier saying Britain has two-weeks to come up with details of its Brexit divorce settlement if negotiations on a future trading relationship are to get underway soon.
However, a seasoned political commentator said in a television interview that as there is no obvious successor to May with the ability to unify warring factions, the prime minister is likely remain at Number 10.