A petition was launched by the National Conservative Convention (NCC), the senior body of the Tory Party’s voluntary wing, calling an Extraordinary General Meeting to pass a vote of no confidence in Theresa May, which received between 40 and 50 signatures from party chairmen this evening. The vote was not binding on the Prime Minister as she survived a no confidence vote last December and will remain leader until December 2019. But the NCC would have to hold the meeting if more than 65 Tory association chairs called for one to be held.
READ MORE: End of Theresa May – 40-50 Tory chairmen in plot to OUST PM in shock new coup
We asked our readers in a Twitter poll: Who would you pick as the next Tory leader?
The results were eye-opening, with 7,093 people voting between 2pm on Wednesday, April 17 and 3.30pm on Thursday, April 18.
A decisive 81 percent of respondents backed former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, versus just eight percent for Home Secretary Sajid Javid who came in second place.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Environment Secretary Michael Gove completed the list on 6 percent each.
The clear winner of the poll was Boris Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary who lead the Leave campaign with Michael Gove during the 2016 referendum.
He initially ran to succeed David Cameron as Prime Minister in 2016, but later ruled himself out.
Announcing his withdrawal from the Tory leadership contest Mr Johnson said: “Having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in parliament, I have concluded that person cannot be me.”
He gave his backing to Theresa May’s thrice-failed deal after she said she would stand down if they voted it through, and has laid out a clear pitch for the leadership ever since.
Pensions secretary Amber Rudd was previously believed to be joining Mr Johnson in his quest to be leader, as the pair were briefly nicknamed “Bamber”.
But Ms Rudd responded on Tuesday she is “not supporting anybody at the moment” and the pair “really disagree” on Brexit.
She said she would rather focus on “policies not personalities” as the unofficial leader of the Tory Remainers.
Ms Rudd said to BBC Radio 5 live: “I’m not planning to run, but I’ve kept the door slightly ajar. I don’t rule it out.
“I will sit with my One Nation caucus group of Tory MPs, who care so much about compassionate Conservatism, and we will be interrogating them when the time comes.”
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was a Remainer in the 2016 referendum.
He chose not to run in the 2016 leadership contest and instead gave his full support to Mrs May and said it was “not the right time” to put his hat in the ring.
When asked whether the next leader could be someone who campaigned to remain in the EU, Mr Hunt said: “There is one very big difference between me and Boris, which is that I am foreign secretary and I have a very big job to do to try and get this deal over the line and that has to be my focus.
“I think that what matters is we have a cabinet that believes in Brexit.”
Environment Secretary Michael Gove previously had an unsuccessful attempt at becoming the next Prime Minister after David Cameron resigned in June 2016.
Mr Gove started as campaign manager for Boris Johnson’s campaign to succeed David Cameron, but then declared he was going to run too.
He came third in the first round of voting, behind Theresa May, who won the race, and Andrea Leadsom.
The petition and meeting was organised by the Conservatives’ London East area chairman, Dinah Glover, who is confident the event will go ahead.
She said: “It’s a snowball, we will definitely meet the numbers and exceed it.
“It has been building for a lot of people. People were particularly angry when it became apparent that we were not leaving on 29 March, that was a very low point when we lost members.
“Taking part in the EU elections is also a very physical reminder that Brexit has not been delivered. It is a very public humiliation, as is going into negotiations with Jeremy Corbyn.”