Senior Conservative MPs have launched a ‘Stop Boris’ plan to try and prevent Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister when Theresa May leaves office.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is currently the bookies favourite to take over from Mrs May in the event of a leadership election but several party elites have publicly spoken out against Boris, primarily for his views on Brexit.

One senior Conservative MP, Sir Patrick Mcloughlin, said today, “Defining ourselves as the Brexit party, pursuing the hardest form of Brexit with a Parliament that will not deliver it, is a recipe for paralysis in government and suicide with the electorate.”

But MP Nadine Dorries, a supporter of Mr Johnson, said that “There has been a stop Boris campaign since the days of Michael Howard pushing forward Cameron and Osborne”.

Among other candidates for the leadership are former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

The leadership contest comes as Mrs May is facing calls to stand down in the wake of her handling of Brexit. The Prime Minister failed to get her Withdrawal Agreement through the House of Commons on three separate occasions and has also now requested two separate delays to Britain’s exit date from the EU, with the most recent extension set to last until October 31st unless a deal can be agreed before then.

Mrs May has also faced criticism for agreeing to negotiate a Brexit deal with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Many in the Conservative Party view this as a huge error of judgement with Boris Johnson calling Corbyn a “Marxist” and saying he was “unfit to govern”.

The Conservatives are set to lose out in local elections due on May 2nd, with one polling expert, Lord Hayward, saying the party faced a “Brexit penalty”.

They are also set to do badly in the European Pariament elections due on May 23rd, in which the party has slipped into third place among those who voted to leave the EU, behind UKIP and Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party.

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