BORIS Johnson is in the lead to take over from Theresa May as Prime Minister, a poll suggests.
Tory Party members want the PM to leave her post after Britain has completed the process of Brexit and would have Mr Johnson step into her shoes.
A YouGov/Times survey of Conservative members, who select the party leader, seems to suggest members have no interest in letting Mrs May fulfil her pledge of fighting in the next election.
Mrs May told the BBC yesterday: “I’m in it for the long term and there’s a job to be done and I will be fighting the next election.”
The Times reports Mr Johnson moved ahead of his rivals by 23 per cent, as Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives and Jacob Rees-Mogg, right-wing backbencher, came next in the list of favourites.
Party members were interviewed between September 20 and 27, and five per cent showed no faith in the current PM as they wanted Mrs May to step down immediately.
Eight per cent want her to go next year, 38 per cent want her to leave after Brexit in 2019 and 13 per cent was her to step down just before the next election.
Two days ago we reported Downing Street officials were drawing up an emergency plan in case Mr Johnson flounces out of the Cabinet.
Number 10 has reportedly been contacting Tory MPs trying to stop them supporting Mr Johnson if he launches a leadership power grab.
But the Government’s whips have apparently been reassured that the Foreign Secretary does not have enough allies on board to overthrow Mrs May.
Mr Johnson sparked speculation of a leadership bid when he published a 4,000-word article on his vision for Brexit just a week before the PM made a major speech in Florence.
And after the Foreign Secretary urged Mrs May to keep a short Brexit transition period to give British companies a trade boost, he risked reopening a bitter Cabinet feud over the sensitive issue on the eve of the Tories’ annual conference.
His new intervention comes less than a week after the PM’s top table finally agreed on a rough timescale of “around two years” for the transition.
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