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Up to 30 Tory MPs want leadership election

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Up to 30 Tory MPs want leadership election

A former Conservative Party chairman said that up to 30 conservative members of parliament support a leadership election within the party, after what was seen as a disastrous party conference speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May this week, BBC News reported.

Grant Shapps said MPs were within their rights to ask the prime minister to quit, the Financial Times reported, citing Shapps' interview to BBC. May's speech was meant to strengthen her leadership, amid leadership speculation surfacing since the snap general election, in which the Tories lost their majority.

However, no current cabinet ministers back the move to oust May, the Financial Times reported.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove was reportedly among those publicly defending the prime minister, BBC reported.

A vote of confidence would be triggered if 15% of the party's 316 MPs wrote to the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs expressing their lack of confidence in May's leadership. A contest would then be followed if May lost that vote, or opted to quit, BBC reported.