Theresa May could be deposed in weeks and months ahead

9 Jun

Humiliated Theresa May is hoping to cling on to power with the backing of a small band of Northern Ireland unionists in Parliament – but she could still be toppled from government.

And while the likelihood of Jeremy Corbyn leading his far-left party into a minority government have faded, it could still be on he cards.

Mrs May has declared her intention to stay on in Number 10 despite leading her party to an embarrassing defeat, the coming weeks and months pose a series of challenges that may yet see her ousted.

Mrs May’s first major test is just days away, with Conservative MPs due to assemble for a meeting of the influential 1922 Committee, which is expected on Tuesday night.

Theresa May, pictured emerging from No 10 with her husband Philip today, has vowed to cling on as leader - but many tough hurdles lie ahead

Theresa May, pictured emerging from No 10 with her husband Philip today, has vowed to cling on as leader - but many tough hurdles lie ahead

Theresa May, pictured emerging from No 10 with her husband Philip today, has vowed to cling on as leader – but many tough hurdles lie ahead

It is here where she will come face to face with her angry backbenchers who will want answers over how she lost a 20 point lead to lead them to electoral disaster.

The knives may come out for her as MPs are furious that their respected colleagues – including ministers – have had their political careers come crashing down.

Some have already broken cover and demanded that Mrs May axe her top aides Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill – the PM’s closest confidants.

Under Tory Party rules, if 15 per cent of Conservative MPs send a letter to the Graham Brady, chairman of ‘the 22’, demanding she goes then vote will be called. 

This means just 48 MPs would be able to trigger a vote of no confidence and potentially oust her.

But if Mrs May survives her own MPs in the initial post-election fall-out, she still faces major hurdles when they return to Parliament next week.

While the support of the DUP’s ten MPs just nudges her into having a working majority, it is wafer thin and vulnerable to rebellion.

The PM pledged to stay on in government to give Britain stable leadership through its tricky Brexit negotiations - but she has plunged her party, and British politics - into turmoil

The PM pledged to stay on in government to give Britain stable leadership through its tricky Brexit negotiations - but she has plunged her party, and British politics - into turmoil

The PM pledged to stay on in government to give Britain stable leadership through its tricky Brexit negotiations – but she has plunged her party, and British politics – into turmoil

Her first major challenge will be getting the Queen’s speech passed at the end of June – which sets out the government’s legislative plan and essentially amounts to a vote of confidence for the administration.

Mrs May will be hoping to get hers over the line with the support of the DUP, but Jeremy Corbyn and his allies will be out to try to scupper her plans.

The Labour leadership has already said they stand ready to form a minority government – propped up on a vote by vote basis by the smaller parties.

And while their immediate hopes of this will be fading, they will table wrecking amendments to try to stop the Tories’ Queen’s speech passing. 

His close ally and shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, will try to table amendments asking MPs to approve Labour’s legislative programme rather than the Tory one. 

If they succeed, and Mrs May does not get her agenda approved, then she will be forced to resign.

Mr Corbyn, as the leader of the next largest party, will be invited to form a government – giving him a chance to push forward his socialist agenda.

While this will probably fail, the votes should prove interesting to flush out how many allies Labour has among the smaller parties, like the SNP and the Greens.

If Labour defy all expectations and manage to make the Queen’s speech fall then Mrs May’s premiership and her government will come crashing down.

But serious questions would hang over the ability of Labour to step in to the breach and form a government.

A jubilant Jeremy Corbyn was beaming as he visited Labour HQ today after having defied the odds to deny Theresa May a majority in yesterday's election 

A jubilant Jeremy Corbyn was beaming as he visited Labour HQ today after having defied the odds to deny Theresa May a majority in yesterday's election 

A jubilant Jeremy Corbyn was beaming as he visited Labour HQ today after having defied the odds to deny Theresa May a majority in yesterday’s election 

The Labour leader may use all the political tactics at his disposal to force Mrs May's government from power - including trying to wreck the budget and the Queen's Speech

The Labour leader may use all the political tactics at his disposal to force Mrs May's government from power - including trying to wreck the budget and the Queen's Speech

The Labour leader may use all the political tactics at his disposal to force Mrs May’s government from power – including trying to wreck the budget and the Queen’s Speech

They have ruled out doing formal deals with the motley crew of smaller groupings in Parliament, which would leave them relying on Lib Dems, SNP MPs, Plaid Cymru MPs and others from Northern Ireland to pass legislation.

Without a formal coalition which gives them a working majority in the Commons the Labour government would be unlikely to last long.

And it would point towards another General Election on the horizon. 

But it is far more likely that the Tories will get their Queen’s speech approved and will stay in government – although with some expensive giveaways aimed at Northern Ireland to keep the DUP on board.

The next major challenge for Mrs May come in Autumn when the Chancellor will put forward the Budget.

Nearly always controversial, this is when Mrs May will be particularly vulnerable to the threat of backbench rebellions over unpopular policies.

And Labour will try to do all they can to encourage other MPs to vote against it as a means of toppling the government.

Like the Queen’s Speech, the Budget is a vote of confidence and if she loses it the PM would have to resign – opening the door once again to the possibility of a Labour government. 

Having led her party to a humiliating defeat, and with tough questions about the shape of Brexit, how public services will be funded and if taxes will be raise, Mrs May has a very weak hand. 

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