'New PM by the summer' claim Tory MPs as Theresa May faces more calls to resign

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Romilly Weeks

"There will be, one way or another, a way of getting her out in June and there will be a leadership election which will see a new Tory leader and prime minister appointed by the summer."

That is what ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston says some Tory MPs told him following another meeting of the 1922 Committee, in which the Theresa May's departure was discussed.

The group, which Peston describes as a trade union for Tory MPs, has been demanding for her to set a timetable for her departure as party leader but so far she has declined.

Instead of gaining assurances from committee chairman Sir Graham Brady for details of the PM's departure, Peston was told the MPs received a "commitment" that she'll bring her deal back before Parliament before the EU elections.

"The Tory MPs I talked to say that this commitment to bring back the bill is equivalent of her showing to the world that she can't get her deal done," Peston told ITV News at Ten.

He added: "At that point, Tory MPs, the 1922 Committee will simply take a decision that she's got to go."

It came after an embarrassing PMQs in which Mrs May faced a direct call from a Tory MP in the House of Commons to step down and hand over to a new prime minister.

Brexit-backing Andrea Jenkyns told Mrs May that she had “failed” in EU withdrawal negotiations and forfeited the trust of the public.

The full-frontal assault at Prime Minister’s Questions came as pressure increased on Mrs May to name a date for her departure and cross-party Brexit talks with Labour dragged on without a conclusion.

  • Peston's analysis on what was discussed in the 1922 Committee:

Another Tory MP who has been spearheading calls for her departure is Sir Graham who on Tuesday met with the PM and reportedly encouraged her to set a date.

He relayed details of those talks to Tory MPs on Wednesday night who left a 1922 Committee meeting grim-faced.

Explaining the feeling among Tory MPs following the 1922 Committee meeting, Sir Graham told ITV News: "There is a very wide spectrum of views in the Parliamentary party.

"I think it is clear the executive, acting as a representative of my colleagues, had sought greater clarity.

"That will now be a process which will take place through a meeting with the prime minister which will take place during the course of next week."

  • Watch: One of Theresa May's own MPs calls for her to quit

Meanwhile, Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom has said she is “seriously considering” standing for the Conservative leadership.

Andrea Jenkyns called on Theresa May to step down at Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons Credit: UK Parliament/PA

Ms Leadsom, who stood for the leadership in 2016 but pulled out to give Mrs May a clear run at the job, became the latest senior Tory to indicate she may throw her hat into the ring for the upcoming contest.

The Leader of the Commons said: "I’ve supported her for the last three years to get Brexit over the line. She has said she’s going, so yes I am seriously considering standing."

Speaking at PMQs in the Commons shortly afterwards, Morley and Outwood MP Ms Jenkyns told MPs it was time for Mrs May to quit.

Britain is due to take part in European elections later this month. Credit: PA Graphics

She said: "She’s tried her best, nobody could fault or doubt her commitment and sense of duty, but she has failed.

"The public no longer trust her to run Brexit negotiations. Isn’t it time to step aside and let someone else lead our country, our party and the Brexit negotiations?"

Mrs May retorted: "This is not an issue about me and it’s not an issue about her. If it were an issue about me and the way I vote, we would already have left the European Union."