Five Senior Tory Ministers preparing to 'knife Theresa May in the back' in crunch No Confidence vote

Despite giving their public backing to the Prime Minister, five members of the Theresa May’s own Cabinet are preparing to “knife her” in the back by voting against her in tonight’s crucial vote of confidence, a government source has reportedly revealed.

Over 150 Tory MPs have already given their public support to the Prime Minister over this evening’s crunch no confidence vote, and it was previously assumed that Theresa May would easily secure the votes of enough of her MPs to remain as PM.

However, the astonishing revelation that five Senior Cabinet members may actually be planning to vote against her in tonight’s secret ballot casts huge doubt on Mrs May’s future.

The Times’ Deputy Political Editor, Sam Coates, revealed in a tweet that:

“one member of the government told me this morning they knew of 5 senior ministers publicly backing her and planning to knife her in private”

Theresa May faces the crucial vote of confidence against her leadership this evening after Graham Brady, the head of the influential 1922 Committee, revealed this morning that he had received the infamous 48 letters to trigger an internal ballot of Tory MPs.

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A count conducted by members of the BBC News team has since revealed that at least 158 Tory MPs – many of them Cabinet members and those on the government payroll – have given their public backing to the Prime Minister.

However, as the confidence vote is to be conducted via secret ballot, many believe that a good deal of the PM’s supposedly loyal MPs may say one thing in public and then do completely the opposite in the voting booth.

Whilst it is not being suggested that they are the five Cabinet members in question, exactly five senior Brexit-backing cabinet figures – Andrea Leadsom, Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Penny Mordaunt and Chris Grayling – have spent the past weeks strongly lobbying the Prime Minister to make last-ditch changes to her Brexit deal.

Theresa May needs to secure the support of over half of her MPs in order to remain as both the Tory leader and as Prime Minister.

Currently the Conservative Party have 315 Members of Parliament, meaning that if 158 or more of her MPs vote against her tonight, Theresa May will be forced out of office.

Should this happen, the Tories will need to hold a new leadership election, with the winner becoming Prime Minister without the need for an immediate General Election.

However, even if Mrs May survives tonight’s confidence vote, it will depend on the margin of victory as to whether she retains enough authority within the party to stay on.

Many have predicted that if over 100 of her MPs vote against her, the Prime Minister may be forced to resign through a lack of authority.

Currently, only around 80 Tory MPs are thought to be members of the hard-Brexit-backing European Research Group (ERG), with almost all of letters of no confidence sent against the Prime Minister to Graham Brady emanating from this faction.

It is widely accepted that the vast majority all of this faction will vote against the Prime Minister in tonight’s crucial vote.

Therefore, Theresa May’s future in firmly in the hands of those supposedly loyal to her.

And, with a good chunk of her own Cabinet members now strongly rumoured to be plotting against her in the vote, the result of tonight’s vote could well turn out to be the final nail for Mrs May.

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