LONDON: Political observers in Britain claim that Prime Minister Theresa May’s position hung in the balance on Monday amid reports that dozens of MPs were backing a move to oust the PM, whose leadership has been battered by a string of scandals and crises.
The Sunday Times reported that 40 ministers in the ruling Conservative Party have agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in the prime minister, just eight short of the number needed to trigger a leadership contest. May’s leadership was further weakened after two British Cabinet ministers were forced to resign in recent weeks, one over sexual harassment and the other for a series of unauthorized meetings with Israeli officials. May has been struggling to maintain her authority in the face of a lack of a parliamentary majority, ongoing party infighting and complex Brexit negotiations.
Meanwhile, Theresa May has thrown her weight behind Saudi Arabia and other “key partners” in the Middle East, as she condemned “external aggression” from Iran-backed proxies. Addressing leading business figures on Monday at a banquet in London, the prime minister said she will “provide support” for allies in the region given the threat from terror groups. May said: “If we are to achieve enduring stability in the Middle East, we must make an offer which supports both the long-term security and prosperity of our key partners, and encourages them to be champions of the global order.
“As we are doing in countries from Saudi Arabia to Jordan, we will provide support to help them defend and protect their borders and their cities from external aggression — from terrorists to Iranian-backed proxies.” The premier said she would also step up efforts to help “not just contain, but solve conflicts in the region, from seeking political solutions in Yemen and Libya, to bolstering a united Iraq and working toward a two-state solution in the Middle East Peace Process.” She said: “While we will stand firm in our support for the Iran nuclear deal, we are also determined to counter destabilizing Iranian actions in the region and their ballistic missile proliferation, working with the US, France and Germany in particular.”