London: British Prime Minister Theresa May was facing fresh turmoil as it emerged today that as many as 40 of her own party MPs are ready to sign a letter expressing a lack of confidence in her leadership. Conservative party MPs are now just eight short of the required number of 48 to force a leadership challenge as May struggles to steady her government following two high- profile resignations, 'The Sunday Times' reported.
Indian-origin MP Priti Patel stepped down as the international development minister amid a dramatic row over her a series of unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials earlier this week. Her resignation came days after Michael Fallon had been forced to quit as Defence Secretary amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Two of May's other senior Cabinet minister, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and First Secretary of State Damian Green, continue to battle demands that they step down.
Johnson has been accused of endangering the life of a British-Iranian national, imprisoned in Tehran, by making an incorrect statement at a House of Commons committee meeting. Green is under investigation by the parliamentary authorities over allegations of sexual misconduct and that pornography had been discovered on his Commons laptop a few years ago. The Opposition and her own party MPs believe that the British Prime Minister's failure to take firm action against them reflects her weakness as a leader and it is time for her to quit Downing Street.
The embattled leader also faces mounting pressure from the European Union (EU) over Brexit negotiations, after Brussels issued an ultimatum that Britain must agree on its divorce bill payments with the economic bloc within weeks or face the prospect of no future trade deal with the EU once it is no longer a member. May is headed for some further bruising in the House of Commons when the EU Withdrawal Bill returns to Parliament on Tuesday, with Labour expected to join Tory rebels to inflict a series of damaging defeats on the government.
One of Labour's key demands is that "parliament, and not ministers, has the final say on whether to approve the withdrawal agreement and how best to implement it".