James Forsyth

What will happen if Theresa May tries to cling on?

What will happen if Theresa May tries to cling on?
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On Friday, Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee, will go and see Theresa May. It is expected that she’ll tell him and then the country the date of her departure as Tory leader.

If May tries to hang on, Brady will have to open the sealed envelopes which reveal whether the '22 executive has voted to change the rules and allow an immediate no confidence vote in May—even those on the executive who oppose a rule change accept that there is a majority for one.

Number 10 know this too, which is why I don’t think there’ll be any attempt by May to argue that she’s not going anywhere.

But May will not resign immediately. Rather she’ll name a date in the next few weeks.

The Tory leadership contest will then start soon after parliament returns from recess. Those involved in organising the contest are confident that this timetable would allow for a new prime minister to be in place by the end of July.