Some within the party fear the rising numbers in membership is due to the possibility of choosing Theresa May’s successor. According to The Sun, the new arrivals are thought to be from Ukip – dubbed “Bluekippers” – and also Remainers signing up to try to stop a new hardline Brexit leader. Party figures show 30,000 new members have joined within the last year putting the party’s overall numbers to more than 150,000.
One senior Tory official told The Sun: “We’re not going to be able to stop people joining up just to vote for a new leader now.
“If Theresa resigned when she intended to, at the end of May, we could have balloted the membership within five or six weeks.
“There’s very little chance of that now Brexit has been pushed back, so the danger is it will become a free for all.”
The new membership number is a seven-year high for the Tories although, under party rules, new members cannot vote in leadership contests unless they have been a part of the party for at least three months.
At least five Remainer Tory MPs are also facing votes of no confidence at the hands of former UKIP members.
Moreover, former Tory minister Nick Boles resigned as a member of his local association before he was ousted.
The apparent infiltration of the Conservative Party comes as Iain Duncan Smith warned that Theresa May could “break the party” if she does a deal with Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit.
Mr Duncan Smith also called on the Prime Minister to step down as leader next month.
He told the Andrew Marr show: “She said she would go as and when the agreement was ratified which was looking at around about May, June.
“I think those dates still stand.”
The MP also claimed that the party must tear up any plans to delay Brexit until Halloween in order to avoid a huge loss at the European Elections.
He said: “I really urge the Prime Minister to be very clear that we are not fighting the European elections.
“Any idea of doing that is a disaster.”