Bid to oust Theresa May will ‘fizzle out’ says Morecambe MP

David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale.
David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale.

A leadership challenge to the Prime Minister will fizzle out, says the MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale.

David Morris said a bid by fellow Tory MPs to oust Theresa May in the wake of her Conservative Party conference speech was “a storm in a teacup”.

Prime Minister Theresa May coughs as she delivers her keynote speech. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Prime Minister Theresa May coughs as she delivers her keynote speech. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Mr Morris also said that the list of MPs who want Mrs May to stand down – said to be around 30, headed by former party chairman Grant Shapps – was actually “about five”.

He said he backed the Prime Minister and had no intention of running for leader himself.

Mrs May has come under fire since her chaotic speech at the party conference in Manchester on Wednesday.

First she was interrupted by prankster Simon Brodkin who handed her a mock P45, which he claimed was from the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, then suffered a coughing fit and towards the end of the speech, letters began to fall off a party logo on a wall immediately behind her.

But Mr Morris said: “It’s the message of what she said that matters.

“The country is in a better situation than what it was and now we can bring in policies like energy price capping.

“She had a coughing fit which could happen to anybody. I saw her the night before and she was coughing and spluttering. She did well to get through it.”

Of the leadership plot, Mr Morris said: “There isn’t one.

“I wish Grant had come to me first, I would have tried to talk him out of it. There are probably five of them at most. They want to grow up.”

Mr Morris also said he backed an investigation into how Brodkin, also known for his on-stage character Lee Nelson, was able to get close to the PM and get accreditation to attend the conference.

After the stunt, Brodkin was dragged from the auditorium and arrested for a breach of the peace. He was later released and Greater Manchester Police said he would face no further action.

Mr Morris said: “I was sitting in the front row next to two security guards. They didn’t move. Somebody was telling them not to. It was obviously a ruse. They realised he wasn’t a threat. But he got that close to the Prime Minister.”

Mr Morris also called for the West End of Morecambe to be a Government-backed pilot area after Mrs May announced an extra £2bn investment in affordable housing during her speech.

“I want to see the Government give (Lancaster City Council) the money to buy housing in the West End, get in developers then sell them to first-time buyers. Morecambe should be a test for this. We know housing is a big problem in the country.”

Mr Morris said he had talks arranged with Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to discuss the idea.