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
Jamie Harron was arrested in July over an incident in which he said he put his hand on a man's hip to avoid spilling a drink in a bar.
Merrill Lynch has been fined £34.5 million for failing to report 68.5 million transactions, the Financial Conduct Authority has said.
Most people back a change in the law to ban unpaid internships that last for more than four weeks, a new poll suggests.