The Tory MP for North West Leicestershire warned it is “quite frightening” to think Prime Minister Theresa May could lead the Conservative Party through another general election – insisting the prospect “fills me with horror”. The Prime Minister has come under huge pressure following her decision to accept a deadline of October 31 from Brussels to extend the Article 50 process and to begin talks with Jeremy Corbyn as she desperately looks for ways to build support for her Brexit deal.
Mr Bridgen, who called for Theresa May to resign, told talkRADIO: “If Theresa May were to stand down, and I think we will change the rules of the 1922 committee, I don’t think we will have to necessarily have the vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister.
“I think that the mere threat that there will be another vote should be enough to persuade her that now is the time to stand down.”
TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer replied: “So, just to clarify, you think you will be able to remove Theresa May within the month of May?”
In response, the Tory MP outlined his despair at the prospect of Mrs May continuing to lead the country and said: “I was hoping that May would end before April this year.”
Supporters of Cabinet contenders for Party leader have made clear in private they do not want a leadership challenge before the first stage of Brexit is resolved, even if cross-party talks with Labour fail to yield positive results, sources told The Times.
They contenders a summer leadership challenge before Mrs May can get her Brexit deal through Parliament would provide Brexiteer rivals Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab with vital momentum, both of whom have pledged to re-open talks with Brussels.
Mrs May has vowed to quit once this first stage of negotiations is complete, but one source backing a Cabinet rival told The Times their candidate would be “perfectly happy” for her to remain in office until December when, under the Tory leadership rules, she can next face a confidence vote.
The source said: “We want a contest after the first stage of Brexit has been sorted so we can talk about other things.
“Most leading contenders do not want an early challenge, even if that means waiting and supporting the Prime Minister until December.”
They said: “No one is going to be able to offer a purer form of Brexit from inside the Cabinet.”
Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith urged Mrs May to step down next month, but after getting Britain out of the EU before May’s European elections.
He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “She said she would go as and when the EU withdrawal agreement was ratified, which was looking at around May, June – I think those dates will stand.
“I think what the Prime Minister has to do is aim everything now towards the departure of the Euros, which would then allow her to step away, having done what she said she would do, getting the UK out of the EU one way or the other.
“Then we can have another leadership election and pick a new leader, which is the way it has to be.”