The Prime Minister is facing a “rocky few days” in the wake of Thursday’s vote which saw the Conservative Party humiliated when it lost 1,334 councillors and 44 councils. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith is calling for Mrs May to stand down with immediate effect or else, he said, the 1922 Committee should change its rules to allow a second vote of confidence. Mrs May won a confidence vote in December, securing 63 percent of the vote, and therefore her leadership cannot be challenged for another year.
Ms Kuenssberg wrote on Twitter: “Most Tories expected there wouldn’t be another attempt to oust PM until after Euro elex- they may turn out to be wrong – IDS says ‘as a result of the devastating election result, she has to agree to go now, or the 22, must make that decision’”.
“So in coming days, Cabinet calls for unity and compromise with Labour might be up against another attempt from backbenchers to force the PM out – nothing certain other than it will be a rocky few days – 22 might this time change rules to allow another confidence vote”.
Mr Duncan Smith suggestion comes as Mrs May is said to be on the cusp of striking a Brexit deal with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, which includes a customs arrangement.
According to BuzzFeed News, the Prime Minister is confident her cross-party talks with the opposition, which she drew heavy criticism for, will bear fruit and break the parliamentary deadlock over Brexit.
Theresa May was heavily criticised for her Brexit talks with Jeremy Corbyn
Mr Corbyn believes Labour will suffer at the ballot box if he strikes a deal with Mrs May
BuzzFeed News reported that several government sources said they believe a deal will be struck with Labour but are unsure about when this will happen.
The deal will include a customs arrangement in line with the World Trade Organisation’s rules and “dynamic alignment” on workers’ rights, which will follow laws laid down in Brussels after Brexit.
This will no doubt infuriate hardline Brexiteers and draw the wrath of many MPs in Mrs May’s own party.
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Environment secretary used the local election results to further support for Mrs May’s deal
3.56pm update: Gove uses Tory election losses to urge MPs to back May’s Brexit deal
Environment secretary Michael Gove is using the humiliation suffered by the Tories in Thursday’s elections to push for support for the Prime Minister’s deal.
Mr Gove, 51, who harbours ambitions of becoming the next Tory leader, told the audience at the Scottish Conservative conference in Aberdeen “we need to deliver” on Brexit in order to “avert the danger” of Jeremy Corbyn coming into power.
He bemoaned the fact that “lots of hardworking Conservative councillors” ended up losing their seats simply because “Parliament has not yet delivered Brexit”.
Seeking to whip up support for Mrs May’s deal, he added: “I am all too aware of how hard the prime minister has worked and how dedicated she has been to secure a good Brexit deal.
“Which is why I hope that when parliament returns, that MPs from every party will unite to respect the referendum result and back the deal. That is what democracy demands.”
Iain Duncan Smith said Theresa May was just a ‘caretaker Prime Minister’
3.10pm update: IDS blasts May over election losses, brands her ‘caretaker Prime Minister’
Arch-Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith has lashed out at Theresa May, branding her a “caretaker Prime Minister”, over the heavy losses suffered by the Tories in the local elections.
The former Conservative Party leader said the 1922 Committee, known as the 22, should tell Mrs May she must leave office if she fails to step down.
His comments come a week after Nigel Eveans, the Commitee’s executive secretary, said he would recommend to Committee members that Mrs May must be gone in “a matter of days”.
During an interview with LBC, Mr Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, said: “The Committee has to sit again now, urgently, the executive Committee, and decide that either the Prime Minister sets the immediate date for departure or, I’m afraid, they must do it for her. And I think this is the only way.”
He added laughingly: “We have, in a sense, a kind of caretake Prime Minister at the moment.”
Prof Martin speaks to people he met on his journey to London
1.40pm update: German professor walks 500 miles to UK to hear what Briton’ views on Brexit
A professor has completed a 500 mile journey on foot from Germany to the UK for a personal mission to speak to people about Brexit.
Prof David Martin, who lived in Britain during his teenage years, asked every person he encountered on the final leg of his hike, from Dover to London, what their thoughts were on Brexit.
He told the BBC: “I thought, I’m going to walk to London to really try to feel, on the spot, what’s going on.
He added: “I wish to ask every person I meet from Dover to London what they think about the Brexit.”
He said he was left feeling “moved” by the “genuine concern” shown by people on all sides of the debate and hoped Remainers and Leavers would eventually pay “much more attention to each other”.
Prof Martin carried everything he needed for the journey in his backpack and admitted the arduous trek had left him with “some blisters”.
Annunziata Rees-Mogg is one of the Brexit Party candidates running in the European elections
11am update: Jacob Rees-Mogg calls for Conservatives to rebrand themselves as true ‘Brexit party’
Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has said the heavy losses suffered by the Tories in Thursday’s local elections coulee be a “blessing in disguise” because it will give the Conservatives the opportunity to become the true “Brexit party”.
Mr Rees-Mogg, who is tipped as a future Conservative leader, made the suggestion after the Tories lost 1,332 councillors and 44 councils which amounted to their worst performance in 24 years.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, the chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) said his party needed to change its image to become strongly pro-Brexit in order to “win back all those who are planning to support Nigel Farage and my sister Annunziata Rees-Mogg at the European elections”.
In April, Ms Rees-Mogg was unveiled as one of the candidates to stand as an MEP for Mr Farage’s newly-launched Brexit Party.
The former UKIP leader’s party has opened up a nine-point lead ahead of its rivals in the run-up to the Euros.
Dr Bassett believes Ireland could be the next nation to leave the bloc
10.40am update: Ireland could be next country to leave EU, claims former Irish diplomat
A former Irish diplomat believes Ireland could divorce itself from the EU in the coming years as anti-European sentiment is likely to sweep across the country after Brexit.
Dr Ray Bassett, who served as Irish ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas for six years before retiring in 2016, told Express.co.uk: “I wouldn’t see Ireland leaving the bloc in the short term, but I could see Eurosceptics succeeding in a few years’ time as the arguments pile up.”
Dr Basssett was speaking as the newly-launched Eurosceptic Irish Freedom Party decided to “dip its toe into the water” in the run up to the European elections.
The party, led by Hermann Kelly, last month unveiled its “Irexit” billboard campaign to push for Ireland to become a self-governing state by ridding itself of EU-control.
Mr Hunt is expected to run to become the next prime minister
10.10am update: Customs union is not ‘long-term solution’, says Jeremy Hunt
Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has said a customs union with the EU is not a “long-term solution” for Britain but insisted the Government wants the benefits of a customs arrangement with the bloc after Brexit.
In an interview with the Press Association as he wrapped up a week-long tour of Africa, Mr Hunt said it was “still not impossible” for a deal to be passed before May 22, which would mean the UK would not have to take part in the European elections.
Mr Hunt, 52, who is plotting to become the next prime minister, said: “I’ve never believed that a customs union is a long-term solution because how could you expect the EU, for example, to stand up for the rights of Scotch whisky distillers if they were negotiating a trade deal with the United States or Japan, even though the UK had absolutely no say in that trade deal?”
He added: “But I think that what Labour really want when they talk about a customs union is the benefits of a customs union: friction-less trade, to facilitate issues around the border in Northern Ireland and manufacture and supply chains, and we want that too.
“So, if we can find a solution that delivers the benefits of the customs union without signing up to the current arrangements, then I think there will be potential.”
David Davis is supporting Dominic Raab, pictured, to be the UK’s next prime minister
9.50am update: Ex-Brexit secretary David Davis rules out Tory leadership run
David Davis, who resigned over Theresa May’s Brexit deal last summer, has ruled out running for prime minister, saying he would instead give his backing to Dominic Raab.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Davis, 70, described Mr Raab, 45, as “the best-placed Brexit candidate to win the necessary support among MPs and party members and, above all, broaden our appeal to voters”.
Mrs May appointed Mr Raab Brexit secretary after Mr Davis resigned in protest over her deal.
But he stepped down in November, saying he “cannot in good conscience” support the Prime Minister’s deal with the EU.
Mr Davis finished second in the 2015 race for premier which was won by David Cameron.
In March the Prime Minister vowed to stand down once her Brexit deal has passed.