Senior Tories defend Theresa May in leaked Whatsapp messages

Boris Johnson has been at the centre of much of the in-fighting

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph today Johnson said only "nutters" in the party wanted the depose the Prime Minister, saying he backed her to secure a "great and successful Brexit".

While professing loyalty, his interventions were seen as undercutting May and causing unnecessary unrest ahead of the party's conference last week that culminated in a disastrous speech by May, marred by a coughing fit and letters falling off the slogan on the set behind her.

But she said: "I am a very determined person".

Speaking about the MPs involved in the criticism, Ms Davidson, who has been tipped as a potential successor to Mrs May, said the calls were not being led by anyone "serious".

But three years later, Gove has emerged as key loyalist to the prime minister as former Tory chairman Grant Shapps leads the efforts to oust her.

Former Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has said there should be a Tory leadership election.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May could soon be planning an overhaul of her team of top ministers in a bid to reassert her authority and end the government infighting that's put Brexit talks in jeopardy.

"Well, have they actually met Theresa May?"

Pressed on whether she was concerned that Shapps might be able to drum up enough support to trigger a leadership challenge, the prime minister repeated her previous point in the somewhat robotic style which attracted so much criticism during the General Election campaign: "What I think is necessary for the country now, what the country needs, is calm leadership. She has got grit, determination, dignity, she believes in service and diligence and she absolutely has my support".

In a further indication of her intentions, Downing Street confirmed she will meet business leaders on Monday to discuss the Government's approach to Brexit.

"Get together, knuckle down and make sure our first commitment, our last commitment and our only commitment is to the country we are incredibly lucky to serve".

"I think to ordinary voters it's what's inside the speech that matters".

Amid speculation over the Prime Minister's future, Mr Johnson urged Conservative colleagues to get behind the PM and turn their fire on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn instead.

Mr Shapps said he was yet to write to the committee himself but would now take the formal steps.

A leadership contest would only be triggered if Mrs May lost that vote, or chose to quit.

The Prime Minister signalled she is willing to move the Foreign Secretary in the coming weeks. "One minute journalists are accusing me of being an ice maiden or a robot, then they claim I'm a weeping woman in dire need of a good night's sleep", she said, adding: "I am not someone who gives up".

"We have just had an election and people are fed up with this malarkey", newspapers quoted Johnson as saying in a message to Conservative lawmakers.

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