Theresa May to convene Cabinet as MPs return to Westminster

Theresa May is set to chair a meeting of her top ministerial team as MPs return to Westminster following the Easter break.

The Prime Minister will convene her Cabinet on Tuesday morning while cross-party talks between the Government and the Labour Party will resume in a fresh bid to break the Brexit impasse.

Ministerial discussions are expected in the afternoon, with Mrs May’s de facto deputy David Lidington, Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and chief whip Julian Smith representing the Government.

Elsewhere Change UK – the Independent Group will launch its European election campaign in Bristol, and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party will unveil its latest tranche of candidates in London.

European Parliament elections
The Brexit Party will unveil its latest tranche of candidates (Andrew Matthews/PA)

On Monday it emerged the PM could face an unprecedented vote of confidence in her leadership after 70 local Conservative association chiefs signed a petition in support of a poll.

They called for an extraordinary general meeting of the National Conservative Convention to discuss the Prime Minister’s leadership of the party, the Telegraph reported.

A non-binding vote is expected to be held at the meeting, which would – if it showed a lack of confidence – put pressure on the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs to find a way of forcibly removing the PM from office.

Mrs May has come under heavy criticism for her handling of the Brexit process, but survived a vote of confidence by her MPs in December.

Boris Johnson
A new poll found Boris Johnson is the favourite to replace Mrs May (Brian Lawless/PA)

Under party rules a year has to pass before another vote can be called, but an extraordinary general meeting must be held if more than 65 local associations demand one through a petition, the paper said.

Elsewhere a new poll found former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is the favourite to replace Mrs May as Conservative leader among the party’s grassroots.

Almost a third of party members – 32.4% – backed the pro-Brexit Tory to take over the helm of the party, up by 10 points in the last month.

Ex-Brexit secretary Dominic Raab was second with 14.7%, according to the poll of 1,128 panel members by the Conservative Home website.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who also supported the Leave campaign, came third, ahead of Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

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