World News

A fifth of Tory members back David Davis as next leader

A fifth of Tory members back David Davis as next leader

The Brexit Secretary David Davis is the narrow favourite among party members to succeed Theresa May, according to a major survey led by academics at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is his main rival on 17%, while backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg made a surprise entry as the third choice with 6%.

And 71 per cent said they were reluctant for her to stand down as opposed to 22 per cent wanting her to resign, according to yesterday's Observer.

Mr Davis, 68, ran unsuccessfully for the Tory leadership in 2001 and 2005.

A quarter of respondents said they did not know or could not say who the next leader would be.

The support for Mrs May continuing in post will reassure the Prime Minister amid more reports about Tory concerns that her authority will never recover from the election.

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Senior members of the 1922 Committee, which represents Conservative backbenchers, have indicated there is no appetite for a leadership election and that Mrs May would have their backing if she sacked plotters.

Speaking at a summer reception, she told MPs to have a break over the summer but to return to Westminster ready for "serious business" with "no backbiting, no carping".

It is still very hard to imagine Theresa May leading her party into the next general election, but it looks likely that she may hang on until the Brexit negotiations are complete.

The newspaper says a behind-closed-doors meeting a month ago revealed the anger of those in the party, with a report criticising "every aspect of the campaign". It would need something huge and I can't see it happening frankly.

British transport minister Chris Grayling, one of Prime Minister Theresa May's closest cabinet colleagues, has predicted she will remain in the job until at least 2020 and could even fight another national election, Reuters reports.


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