Prankster hands Theresa May P45 during conference speech

Then May started to cough, the bouts interrupting her speech numerous times.

Comedian Simon Brodkin managed to get on camera at the front of the stage and hand the prime minister the termination of employment tax form, and said "Boris asked me to give you this", before being ejected from the hall. The poor result left a weakened May struggling to unite the government around policies for Brexit and other issues.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday said she enjoyed the "full support" of her cabinet after a former chairman of her Conservative Party admitted he was behind a plot by around 30 MPs to urge her to resign.

Former minister Ed Vaizey said "quite a few" in the party were now "pretty firmly" of the view that she should stand down. But not many are convinced and knives are already out. "She showed an incredible degree of resilience and courage this week of a piece with the fantastic leadership she's shown throughout the time she has been prime minister".

Just when she needed a rousing, commanding speech to restore authority over her warring Conservative Party, she endured a nightmare. But there are suggestions he does not have the required support of 48 MPs and that many want him sacked.

One of the ringleaders of the plot to oust Theresa May has been criticised by Conservative MPs, who said he lacks support in the party and is "embittered".

Before being interrupted in her address to party members, May apologised for the Conservative's loss of seats in the general election in June. "The time has come". In a morning radio interview Gove said: "No one is burying their heads in the sand". This year's conference has been overshadowed by Johnson's decision to set out his rival vision for Brexit in a newspaper article last month.

Mr Shapps said those seeking to topple Ms May had no single candidate they wished to replace her but that the group included both supporters and opponents of Brexit.

"I know that she is as determined as ever to get on with the job, she sees it as her duty to do so and she will carry on and she will make a success of this government", Green, the first secretary of state, told BBC television.

"What you're seeing here is the coalition of disappointed people who think their brilliant political talents have not been fully recognised". That is the highest share of the vote received by any party in over two decades. We wanted to present that to Theresa May privately.

But they added there were "probably many more" than the 30 disaffected MPs allegedly held on a list by Mr Shapps, warning: "I think the party is in a awful hole".

  • Leroy Wright