Tory MPs are considering a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister David Cameron if Britain votes to remain in the EU, after allegations of unfair behavior by the PM in the EU referendum campaign.
Up to 100 Euroskeptic Conservative MPs could be preparing to call on Cameron to step down if he succeeds in keeping the UK in the EU when Britain votes next month.
The rebels are angry at Cameron for the way he has conducted the ‘Remain’ campaign, including using £9 million (about US$13 million) of public money on a pro-EU leaflet sent to every household.
Only 50 MPs are needed to trigger a vote of no confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party.
Backbenchers also accuse the PM of hyperbole in the campaign to keep Britain in the EU, with some especially angered at Cameron’s suggestion last week that Brexit could lead to war in Europe.
According to party sources who spoke to the Telegraph, rebel MPs are keen to “show Cameron that [his campaign behavior] will not be forgotten by the Euroskeptics.”
While it is unlikely Euroskeptic MPs will succeed in forcing the PM to quit, they could use their votes to block future legislation.
This would effectively force Cameron to either step down or agree to a departure date before 2019, when he currently intends to quit Downing Street.
According to the Telegraph, Tory sources indicate many MPs are worried that if Cameron remains PM after an ‘In’ vote, he will use his remaining four years in office to pave the way for his preferred predecessor, Chancellor George Osborne.
Osborne’s popularity has dropped considerably in the Tory ranks and throughout the country after he was forced to backtrack on his controversial Spring Budget earlier in the year.
Euroskeptic MPs want to see a pro-Brexit leader, such as former London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Saturday saw the biggest day of campaigning for the EU referendum to date, with Cameron, Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn all hitting the streets.
While Johnson framed the ‘Leave’ campaign as a battle between “David and Goliath,” Cameron cautioned a vote for Brexit would be a vote “potentially for a recession.”
Corbyn meanwhile warned voters the Tories seek to remove workers’ rights by leaving the EU.
“Their agenda is to end the working time directive, their agenda is to take away that protection, their agenda is to take away the four weeks’ holiday we won all across Europe.
“Their whole concept is of undercut, undercut, undercut. Increase profit at one end, increase misery at the other end.”