Rebels rocking the Tory boat

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The Conservatives kicking a woman when she’s down? Never!

Yet what has been happening since the end of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester is beginning to look like that.

Grant Shapps, pictured, who was stripped of his ministerial rank when Theresa May entered Downing Street, claims to be leading a gang of some 30 malcontent Tory MPs who allegedly want the Prime Minister to be replaced. And they have unfairly put the word “disastrous” next to “speech” in an apparent attempt to suggest her end-of-conference address was well below par.

But it seemed a more than adequate speech for the occasion. And she is to be congratulated on battling through the problems to the end. The fact the speech was bedevilled by mishaps, over which the Prime Minister had no control, has been exploited by her critics as a reason for her to step down.

That amounts almost to political trickery, exploiting her misfortunes as a way of suggesting she is unfit for the job. Shame on them!

And who are these 30 people who want to see her go? Only Shapps, at the time of writing, has put his head above the parapet, and we thus have no knowledge of the number of people involved. Plenty of Tories have come out in support of May and have denounced the so-called would-be rebels. Some Tories do not seem to have the sense to realise that rocking the boat like this can all too easily lead to it capsizing.

n With the party conference season now over, we can look forward to a tumultuous session of Parliament. Brexit will be the dominant issue. But the question some Conservatives are asking in private is whether the chief Brexit man, David Davis, will be able to hold on to his job. Progress has been slow, as Eurocrats fight for every penny they can squeeze out of the UK as the “price” for leaving. Is Davis tough enough to face down these seemingly immovable men of Brussels? Who could take Davis’ place? I wonder whether thoughts of Boris Johnson have crossed the Prime Minister’s mind. At least he would take no nonsense from these EU grandees. Stranger things have happened.