Leading Conservative politicians in the Melton area have criticised a move to hold a vote of confidence tonight (Wednesday) in the leadership of Prime Minister Theresa May.
Sir Alan Duncan, MP for Rutland and Melton, believes it is imperative that Mrs May stays in post to lead negotiations on the deal for the UK to leave the EU with Brexit just over three months away.
He Tweeted earlier today: “For the sake of country, Government and Party, I urge all my fellow Conservative MPs to vote for Theresa May this evening. “Changing the PM at this critical moment in history would be a massive mistake.
“Stick with her and let’s see it through!”
If the premier loses tonight’s vote involving fellow Tory MPs it will trigger a leadership election which she cannot then take part in.
She has the right to stay on as PM if she gets at least half of the parliamentary part voting her, plus one other vote, but her authority could be seriously weakened.
Leigh Higgins, deputy leader of Melton Council and Conservative Party regional chairman for the East Midlands, said in a statement: “I’m disappointed to hear that this ballot had been called, particularly in the current circumstances.
“If MPs trigger a leadership election, there can be no coronation.
“Members will expect hustings and the East Midlands region deserves the opportunity to examine the contestants.
“We will not just be choosing our leader but the Prime Minister, which is unprecedented and the country would rightly expect us to be rigorous.
“But the members will expect, and deserve, to have a say should MPs trigger that tonight.”
Conservative MPs will vote on whether they have confidence in the leadership of Mrs May between 6pm and 8pm tonight, with the result expected to be announced shortly afterwards.