Theresa May could be ousted without triggering a general election if MPs pass a no confidence motion in her, the Commons constitutional watchdog has said.
The prime minister would be expected to resign simply if parliament expressed that it no longer had confidence in her government, the public administration and constitutional affairs committee said.
The outlining of a method to remove May from office – without having to trigger a general election or through the Conservative Party process triggered by 48 MPs writing letters of no confidence – will put opposition parties and her internal critics on high alert.
The committee is chaired by Tory Sir Bernard Jenkin, a leading member of the European Research Group (ERG), which botched a major push last month to get the 48 letters in a failed coup attempt which ended with chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg and fellow Brexiteers being branded ‘Dad’s Army’.
Sir Bernard’s report came pressure mounted on Labour to table a vote of no confidence, with SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford warning Jeremy Corbyn he has “until the close of business” on Tuesday to act.
But in a sign that Labour and the SNP are far from agreement, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell suggested the Scottish party want to “lose a vote of no confidence, and then avoid a general election, because they know we’re breathing down their necks in Scotland”.
The SNP hit back that McDonnell was talking “desperate nonsense” as the SNP was way ahead of Labour in the polls north of the border. It also emerged that Corbyn postponed a planned meeting with Blackford, where the Labour leader was expected to face demands to table a confidence vote.
The report’s findings potentially give both Labour and the ERG a new means to remove May, as Corbyn’s party appears reluctant to call a vote for fear of…