May has been hit with a threat of a revolt on the backbenches if she does not set out when she will pack her bags and leave Downing Street.
Theresa May has been told by Conservative MPs that she has until 4pm (BST) this afternoon to spell out her resignation plans, or risk being forced out of office within weeks.
The prime minister was told by the chair of the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs, Sir Graham Brady, that she must now spell out the”road map” for her departure, following the party’s dire performance in last week’s local elections.
May is currently only committed to quitting once she has passed a Brexit deal through parliament – an event which looks highly uncertain and could take months. Current party rules also state that she cannot be forced out of office until December this year.
And it comes after a double blow as an official announcement about her failure to avoid European elections was quickly followed by continuing deadlock over Brexit talks with Labour.
Tories are also still reeling from last week’s humiliation in the local elections which saw them lose 44 councils and 1,330 councillors.
The treasurer of the 1922 Committee, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, said he would back a grass roots bid to force May out with a no-confidence vote next month if she did not go of her own volition.
The Tory MP for the Cotswolds said it was the Prime Minister’s decision on when she should go but he would “absolutely” support grass roots moves to try to topple her in June if her departure date was not imminent.
When asked what should happen if May failed to set out her own timetable for departure, he said:
“It begins to get much more messy”.