Tory MPs are set to meet today, furious about Brexit, amid rumours of a 4pm deadline for the Prime Minister to set out when she’ll quit.
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Theresa May faces a new Tory revolt after she braced to stay in office as late as September.
The Prime Minister could end up squatting in Downing Street through the summer break after setting a new end-of-July deadline to clinch her Brexit deal.
The admission is likely to spark fresh Tory fury, with the PM already facing open calls from MPs and activists to quit.
Today the 1922 Committee, which represents Tory MPs, will meet once again and discuss changing rules to oust her.
Reports claim she has been set a deadline of 4pm today to set her exit date – or be toppled.
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The powerful Committee’s executive will discuss a crucial ’12-month rule’ in the Tory party.
This rule prevents any binding no confidence vote in Mrs May as leader, until December – one year after she survived the last effort by 200 to 117.
A previous bid to scrap the ’12-month’ rule was blocked by the Committee’s executive last month.
But that vote was narrow, and some Tory members now say they could change their minds and back a rule change.
One told the Financial Times: “If the PM refuses to budge on when she will go, committee members will be reconsidering their stance.”
Another told the Guardian: “We want certainty for an orderly and timely exit with or without a deal.
“The can cannot be kicked down the road until October.”
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Mrs May has said she will quit – but only once her Brexit deal is agreed. And there’s no sign of that yet because compromise talks with Labour are stalling.
That means calls are rising for her to go sooner, with 800 Tory activists holding a non-binding no confidence vote on June 15.
Amid mounting pressure yesterday she met Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee.
With Brexit delayed as late as October 31, he urged the embattled Tory leader to set a clear timetable for her departure.
Yet instead Downing Street responded by putting the date for a Brexit deal back even further.
Mrs May’s loyal deputy David Lidington confirmed the UK will enter EU elections on May 23 – costing £150million.
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And Downing Street abandoned her vow that “as Prime Minister” she could not delay beyond June 30.
Instead the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “In relation to the Parliamentary timetable we would look to complete this ideally by June 30, but if not then, by summer recess.”
The summer recess begins near the end of July and lasts well over a month – about the same as school holidays.
This could, in turn, delay her departure to September – because it leaves a conundrum in a Tory leadership contest, the Times reported.
The first stage of a Tory leadership race involves MPs voting in a series of ‘knock-out’ rounds to find two top candidates.
But traditionally this only occurs when Parliament is sitting.
If a deal is only agreed days before MPs’ summer holiday, there is speculation there would not be enough time to complete it and MPs would have to come back in September.
The treasurer of the 1922 Committee, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, warned it would “get messy” if Mrs May refuses to lay out a timetable for her departure.
He said: “It would be much easier and I think the European elections would be much easier if she did set out her own timetable to go but it is up to her.
“I think it’s quite possible they (grass roots members) might vote for no-confidence in June.”