Former Army officer named as first challenger to David Cameron's rule
Patrick Mercer, a former Army officer, has become the first Conservative MP to be named as one of a group of 14 who have written letters saying they want a challenge to David Cameron's leadership.
The MP for Newark, a former colonel who was the first member of the Tory front bench to be sacked by Mr Cameron five years ago for remarks he made about racism in the Army, was named yesterday in the Mail on Sunday.
It would take 46 Tory MPs to write individually to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, which represents backbench opinion, for Mr Cameron to face a leadership challenge.
Such an uprising is highly unlikely this year, especially since the UK's most popular Tory politician, London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, is not eligible to run as he is not an MP. But the Prime Minister's position may become unsafe if the Government continues to trail in the polls and Mr Johnson finds a safe seat.
Yesterday, Mr Cameron received support from the last person to head a Conservative government. Sir John Major, who entered Downing Street after Margaret Thatcher was forced out of office by a leadership challenge in 1990, told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "If the Conservative Party has learned anything in the last 20 years, it's learned that regicide is not a good idea."
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
British man confesses to slitting his two children's throats in Lyon flat
World news in pictures
'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
- 1 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: This is a senior appointment with huge potent...
£28000 - £31500 per annum + benefits: Randstad Education Newcastle: Permanent ...
£50000 - £58000 per annum + Benefits and Bonus: Progressive Recruitment: SAP F...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...