The DUP could tear up their deal to prop the Tories up in No10 unless Theresa May is ousted as the party leader.
The party wields an enormous amount of power as its 10 MPs have agreed to support the Conservative Government in a confidence agreement.
But they are seething at the Brexit deal – accusing the PM of having ‘sold out’ Northern Ireland and breaking her own promises.
And they are reportedly ready to kill of the deal unless the Tories ditch Mrs May as leader, with a source telling The Daily Telegraph the deal ‘depended on who the leader of the Conservative Party is’.
The claim was fiercely denied by Mrs May this morning as she appeared on a live radio phone in on LBC as part of a PR bitz to drum up support for her deal.
The DUP (led by Arlene Foster, pictured last night watching a football match in Dublin) could tear up their deal to prop the Tories up in No10 unless Theresa May is ousted as the party leader
Theresa May (pictured on LBC this morning) is in the political battle of her life today as she desperately tries to rally support for her Brexit plan as Tory MP mobilise to try to oust her form the leadership. If the DUP tear up their support then she will have no parliamentary majority
Asked directly if DUP leader Arlene Foster had pulled her party’s backing, the PM said ‘I haven’t had a testy exchange with Arlene on that’ and insisted it is still intact.
While the DUP’s Jeffery Donaldson – the party’s chief whip who signed the deal – last night denied it has been torn up.
Four more Tory Brexiteers join Rees-Mogg’s coup attempt with public letters of no confidence
A no confidence vote loomed large for Theresa May today as more of her MPs went public with demands for a showdown.
Mark Francois, the deputy of the Brexiteer European Research Group, issued his letter today with the subject line ‘she just doesn’t listen’.
Maria Caulfield told her local BBC she had also filed one while former Cabinet minister John Whittingdale and Adam Holloway also declared they had written to Sir Graham Brady to call for a vote overnight.
The four MPs bring to 20 the publicly declared tally – with 48 letters to Sir Graham and his 1922 Committee needed to trigger a vote.
Letters are normally confidential and those behind the attempted coup insist there are already enough demands for a vote to be held in days.
Government whips have been canvassing views of Tory MPs in expectation of a vote on Mrs May’s future, which could come as soon as next week.
Some whips are understood to have stayed in London for the weekend instead of returning to their constituencies as loyalists try to fight off the attempt to remove the PM.
But he pointedly said Mrs May ‘is not the party’ and ‘a lot depends on what the Conservative party does’.
DUP MPs erupted with fury at the EU Withdrawal Agreement thrashed out with Brussels, warning it will drive a wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
In an extraordinary display, senior party figures joined Tory Brexiteers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker in blasting the plan at a hastily arranged press conference in Parliament minutes after it was announced on Monday.
And DUP MPs have spent the past 48 hours publicly lashing the plan and hammering Mrs May personally for agreeing to it.
They are furious that it includes plans to enforce more regulatory checks in Northern Ireland – breaching their ‘blood red’ line that all of the UK must be treated the same.
Nigel Dodds, the party’s leader in Westminster, rounded on the PM in the Commons yesterday as she faced a torrid three-hour hammering on her deal.
He said: ‘I could today stand here and take the Prime Minister through the list of promises and pledges that she made to this House and to us privately about the future of Northern Ireland and the future relationship with the EU, but I fear it would be a waste of time since she clearly doesn’t listen.’
Mr Dodds heaped praise on Dominic Raab and Esther McVey for quitting the Cabinet over the deal – sending Mrs May’s Government into meltdown.
He added: ‘The choice is now clear, we stand up for the United Kingdom, the whole of the United Kingdom, the integrity of the United Kingdom or we vote for a vassal state.’
Mark Francois (pictured today in Westminser), the deputy of the Brexiteer European Research Group, issued his letter today with the subject line ‘she just doesn’t listen’
Mr Francois blamed the Prime Minister for alienating the DUP and threatening to destroy the Government
Mr Francois’s letter – hugely longer than most of the letters – accused pro-European civil servants of sabotaging the negotiation
The DUP’s Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said the deal was a case of ‘Northern Ireland being put on a platter as an object to surrender to the EU’.
And Tory Brexiteers have blasted the way the PM has treated the DUP as her partners in Government.
Mark Francois, the deputy of the Brexiteer European Research Group, sent his letter of no confidence in the PM in today. If 48 are sent in then a confidence vote will be called – potentially triggering a bitter Tory leadership contest.
In a blistering letter, he accused Mrs May of having ‘appallingly treated and now alienated’ the DUP.
He blasted: ‘I therefore believe that in order for our party to survive in Government it is imperative we find a new leader who can command the respect of the DUP and therefore maintain the working majority in Parliament.’