Around 11 Cabinet Ministers were said to be plotting for David Lidlington, Minister for the Cabinet Office, to take over from Theresa May, according to The Sunday Times. The Mail on Sunday also reported Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, could be brought in as a caretaker leader. But they have both denied this and say they “fully back Theresa May”.
Speaking to reporters in his Aylesbury constituency, Mr Lidington, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “I don’t think that I’ve any wish to take over from the PM (who) I think is doing a fantastic job.
“I tell you this – one thing that working closely with the Prime Minister does is cure you completely of any lingering shred of ambition to want to do that task.
“I have absolute admiration for the way she is going about it.”
Theresa May said at the end of last year she will not stand in the 2022 General Election, but could her time be up sooner than expected amid Brexit uncertainty?
Who could replace Theresa May as Prime Minister?
The Environment Secretary 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.
But he is now seen as the next favourite at 3/1, according to Ladbrokes.
The 62-year-old has been the MP for Aylesbury since 1992 and was Minister of State for Europe from 2010 to 2016.
Ladbrokes are still offering odds of 4/1 for him to become the net Prime Minister.
Former foreign secretary Mr Johnson has been a leading voice of opposition to Mrs May’s Brexit plan.
The Brexiteer was one of the key people involved in the Leave campaign and quit the Cabinet following the Chequers summit in July.
Ladbrokes say the odds of him taking over Number 10 have dropped in recent months to 8/1.
But he will still probably have the backing of many pro-Leave members of the party if he chooses to run.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has odds of 8/1 with Ladbrokes of taking over Theresa May, despite being a Remainer in the 2016 referendum.
The 52-year-old, who was first elected as MP for South West Surrey in 2005, was appointed Foreign Secretary in July following the resignation of Boris Johnson.
But 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.