Ruth Davidson tells Tory plotters to "put up, shut up" as plan to oust Theresa May loses steam

Rebecca Smith
Davidson is considered a favourite to replace Theresa May
Davidson is considered a favourite to replace Theresa May (Source: Getty)

The silencing of the plot to oust Theresa May strengthened today as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, told party rebels to "put up, shut up, and get off the stage".

A rebellion orchestrated by former party chairman Grant Shapps began unravelling yesterday as cabinet members threw their weight behind the Prime Minister, who said she had their "full support" and would continue delivering "calm leadership".

In recent weeks, Davidson has already been vocal about the need for the Conservatives to show a united front. And speaking on BBC Radio 4's Political Thinking podcast, Davidson said her party should "get its house in order", telling May's critics to "put up, shut up, and get off the stage".

Read more: Odds slashed overnight on Theresa May stepping down this month

"I have to say, I've not got much time for them," she said, adding that there were "an awful lot" of people within the party who need "to settle down".

In order to trigger a vote of no confidence in the party leader, 48 out of the 316 Conservative MPs would need to write to the chairman of the backbench 1922 committee.

Shapps, who said he had the support of around 30 MPs, said his intention had been to quietly gather signatures after May's party conference speech was derailed by a series of mishaps, but that the whips had taken the "extraordinary" step of making it public by naming him as the ringleader in a story in the Times.

Davidson, however, was dismissive of the plot altogether, saying: "I think if the plotters were serious, they would be led by someone a bit more serious."

"One of the irritants over the last couple of days, for me, particularly as a woman, is this idea that all of these men are supposed to be making decisions on Theresa May's behalf," she said. "Well, have they actually met Theresa May? This is a woman with agency, with grit, with determination. I backed her in the leadership, I back her now, and I will back her in the future."

Read more: Ruth Davidson calls for the government to unite behind Theresa May

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