Tories rubbish 'no confidence vote' claim

David Cameron faces growing unrest within his party
David Cameron faces growing unrest within his party

The Conservative party has poured water on reports that its leader David Cameron could face a vote from rebel MPs demanding his resignation.

A spokesman said an article in the Sunday Telegraph claiming at least two MPs had lodged formal requests for a vote of not confidence had "no substance".

The report in the newspaper said that up to six MPs had written to 1922 committee chairman Sir Michael Spicer asking for a vote of no confidence in their leader after months of dissent.

Earlier this year Mr Cameron alienated sections of his party by dropping the Conservatives' longstanding support for grammar schools, while the Tories were embarrassingly pushed into third-place by the Liberal Democrats in two by-elections in Ealing Southall and Sedgefield last Thursday.

For a vote of no confidence to be taken, which would compel Mr Cameron to resign if successful, 29 MPs representing 15 per cent of the parliamentary party would have to ask for such action.

One of the two unnamed MPs the Sunday Telegraph claims has definitely written to Sir Michael told the paper: "I felt I had to register my deep-seated dissatisfaction. I am not the only one and I know there are a number of others who are thinking of writing."

An anonymous senior backbencher meanwhile added that there was "a hole at the heart of the Cameron project".

Meanwhile two separate polls in Sunday newspapers today showed Gordon Brown's Labour was extending its lead over the Tories.

The Sunday Times puts Labour at 40 per cent, seven points ahead of Mr Cameron's party, while Menzies Campbell's Lib Dems trailed on 15 per cent.

And the Observer said Labour had an approval rating of 41 per cent, compared to 35 per cent for the Tories and 15 per cent for the Lib Dems.


Politics @ Lunch

Friday lunchtime. Your Inbox. It's a date.