British PM to tell her divided government to 'shape up'

PA•TWITTERTheresa May was given a P45 form by prankster Lee Nelson during her speech
PA•TWITTERTheresa May was given a P45 form by prankster Lee Nelson during her speech
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07 October, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May promised Wednesday to restore the "British Dream" in a speech that saw her plagued by a cough and interrupted by a prankster, while parts of the backdrop fell down as she was speaking.

May managed to draw laughs by quipping that she was "just about to talk about someone I'd like to give a P45 to and that's Jeremy Corbyn", referring to the Labour Party leader that some pundits expect could be the next prime minister.

Her key policy messages were all lost in a series of mishaps, including an interruption by a prankster, her own coughing fit and, to make matters worse, a faulty party message sign falling off on stage letter by letter.

"If ever the PM needed a metaphor for service and duty and resolution through adversity, that battling performance was it!"

May has struggled to reassert her authority since calling the snap election in June, only to lose the Conservatives' majority in the House of Commons.

Nadine Dorries, an ally of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who has been the subject of speculation about a potential leadership bid amid his perceived disloyalty over Brexit in recent weeks, claimed Mr Shapps was part of a group of Remain-backing MPs seeking to reverse the decision to quit the EU.

The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg said that while many MPs wanted her to stay as leader, there were "emerging plots" as some Tory MPs tried to gather support to approach Mrs May privately and persuade her to stand aside. She said the government wants Brexit negotiations to succeed, but is also preparing for a scenario in which they could fail.

One senior Conservative said May must show "personality, vision and confidence" in her speech and offer "delegates hungry for ideas" something new.

More news: Trump lifts Puerto Rico shipping restrictions

Following the speech, May tweeted a picture of several throat lozenges and throat sprays around a copy of her speech.

About 30 Tory MPs, apparently led by Grant Snapps, are to tell the Prime Minister she no longer has the party's support and call for her to step down.

The statement comes after Grant Shapps, a former Conservative party chairman and a ringleader of a plot to topple May, urged earlier in the day fellow party members not "to bury heads in the sand and just hope things will get better".

"I think we'd prefer if she went sooner rather than later, but the timescale is something she should set out".

Police are to work with the Conservatives to review their conference security after a well-known comedian was able to hand the Prime Minister a mock P45 unemployment notice. The audience gave her ovations to help buy her time.

The Scottish Sun says Theresa May suffered another disaster as her Tory conference speech descended into chaos.

Many of Theresa May's employees came to her rescue.

Cabinet ministers rally around May.


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