Theresa May has held talks with senior Tories at Westminster amid growing pressure for her to name the date of her departure from No 10.
The Prime Minister met the executive of the powerful backbench 1922 Committee for around an hour and a half in her room in the House of Commons.
Following the meeting, which lasted longer than expected, members of the 18-strong executive were set to have further private talks to consider their next steps.
There was no immediate word as to how the talks went.
But ahead of the talks, committee treasurer Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown told the Press Association: “It would be infinitely preferable if she set a date rather than us force her out.
“It’s better that she does it than we have a vote of confidence.
“What I would like to see is her set out a timetable to trigger a leadership contest.”
Members of the executive are now expected to discuss whether to change the rules for the Tory leadership contest to enable an early challenge.
At present, Mrs May cannot be challenged again as leader until December.