PM May leadership questioned by Tories divided over Europe

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The Trade Secretary, a hardline Eurosceptic, warned that the noises off were "unhelpful" as the government battles to get a good deal from the EU.

Crucially, she ducked a direct question about whether she would lead the Tories into the next election. And Ms Soubry - who favors the United Kingdom remaining in the customs union and single market - said Mrs. Instead she is to make a "more limited speech" next month on security co-operation after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

On the other hand, there are those, such as Chancellor Philip Hammond, who want a deal that will closely mirror what we have at the moment, in terms of trade at least.

There are two ways a Conservative leadership contest can be triggered.

Some Tories have said a vote of no confidence in Ms May is getting nearer.

Charles Walker, vice chairman of the influential backbench 1922 Committee, was forced to played down talk of a leadership challenge amid the row over Mrs May's approach to Brexit.

His comments came as Johnny Mercer, the former Army officer who is widely seen as a potential leader, demanded the Prime Minister start "delivering" on policies.

She wrote in the Sunday Telegraph that Britain risks remaining in the European Union "in all but name", and added: "Since the prime minister set out a bold vision in her Lancaster House speech, the direction of travel seems to have gone in only one single direction: towards a dilution of Brexit".

He told the BBC: "I think we should take this with a pinch of salt".

She has announced policies to change the housing market and a new focus on the environment.

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The Prime Minister told the weekly meeting of Cabinet that the paper represented "initial work" by officials which had not been signed off by ministers. Others have spoken of "drift" and a lack of energy.

The next crunch point for the prime minister comes on Thursday 3 May, when voters in England go to the polls in local elections.

Tory MPs hoping to boost their party's electoral prospects should be lobbying to drop the rhetoric of austerity, otherwise they'll keep losing ground to Jeremy Corbyn's Labour regardless of how much they manage to soften Brexit.

A mixed bag of news features on the front of the Sunday newspapers - from a "cash crisis" in academy schools to tensions in the Tory party.

Mr Gove has become among the most active ministers, announcing a raft of policies such as a crackdown on single use plastic in a bid rehabilitate the Tory image.

In October past year, a plot orchestrated by former party chairman Grant Shapps, fell apart at the first with daylight.

After a weekend of discontent, the Telegraph this morning published a series of WhatsApp messages that "reveals the increasing acrimony over Brexit at the most senior levels of the Conservative Party, amid growing calls for Theresa May to intervene and show more leadership".

Gordon Brown faced endless plots and botched coups during his time in Downing Street but lived to fight (and lose) the next general election.

She is facing attacks from all sides of the Tory factional war, with Brexiteers insisting she is not being tough on the European Union, and Remainers warning the government is letting down the country.

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