Historians and members of the Conservative Party have warned the plan to have an interim leader would be doomed to failure and could also put the 92-year-old Monarch in a very awkward position, the Daily Telegraph reports. This is because embattled Prime Minister Mrs May would have to recommend her successor to the Queen, though it would be her choice entirely to reject this or not. Should she reject this, the Queen could ed up picking the next Prime Minister. Lord Howard, the former Conservative leader, echoed calls the plan would not work.
He told BBC Radio 4: “Anyone who the Cabinet try to install as Prime Minister would have to have the confidence of the whole of the Conservative Party and the DUP otherwise they would face a no-confidence motion in the House of Commons.”
Referring to Cabinet ministers, Exeter University’s head of history, Professor Richard Toye, added: “I see great difficulty in how they actually could do it, even if they resigned at the same time.
“Their idea to launch a coup is to talk to journalists – they haven’t really got a mechanism for bringing it about.
“Ministers are united in wanting rid of her but divided in who her successor should be.
“If Theresa May declined to recommend a successor, that would create a problem.
“Palace officials would have to try and establish what the majority view of ministers and the Commons would be.”
He pointed out the last time this happened, which was in 1963 when then prime minister Harold Macmillan stood down due to bad health.
As a result, the Palace had to choose a successor, but did not have a formal mechanism in place to do so.
Alec Douglas-Home took on the role of Mr Macmillan’s successor.
News Mrs May’s time may be up as Prime Minister came over the weekend when rivals warned of a Cabinet coup to get her out of No10 as a result of her botched Brexit negotiations.
Michael Gove is being touted as a possible successor, though others have claimed Jeremy Hunt could also challenge Mrs May in a bid for No10.
Mr Hunt campaigned for Remain during the 2016 EU referendum, but changed his mind and is said to now be a staunch Brexiteer after he called the EU out for their “arrogance”.
The Cabinet plot comes after a series of embarrassing defeats from Mrs May.
In January she suffered the worst defeat by any Prime Minister in the House of Commons in an attempt to push her controversial Brexit deal through Parliament.
Her second meaningful vote also failed this month, prompting her to beg the EU for an Article 50 extension in a last ditch attempt to get her agreement through the Commons. The move sparked fury, particularly when European Council President Donald Tusk gave her until April 12, scrapping the original March 29 leave date altogether.
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