The Mail on Sunday has reported that MPs approached to give their support to Adam Afriyie as a potential successor to David Cameron had been told that Mr Afriyie had the backing of 40 MPs.
The Sunday Times quoted a "friend" of Mr Afriyie, who is 47, as saying: "The team are well organised.
"They are very concerned about the long-term future of the party and believe Adam is the future. He has a fantastic back story and is very impressive."
More top news
Sir John Vickers proposed reforms to make the financial system safer. Now he has accused the Bank of England of "going easy" on the banks.
Widespread frost expected overnight as temperatures drop below freezing ahead of a chilly start to the week.
Obese people make a mountain out a molehill - because they see distances as further and hills as steeper than slim people, say scientists.