Tory Leadership Challenge Leaked by May's Own Team, Brady Says

(Bloomberg) -- Theresa May was on the brink of a no-confidence vote by her Conservative Party for weeks before it was triggered, and news of the leadership challenge was probably leaked by one of the prime minister’s own team, according to the Tory lawmaker who oversaw the process.

Graham Brady, head of the influential 1922 Committee of Conservative backbench lawmakers, recounted the events of Dec. 12 in Parliament’s magazine on Monday. One unnamed colleague handed Brady his letter of no confidence in May that morning, only for another to withdraw theirs minutes later to take the number back below the threshold of 48 needed for a leadership challenge. By afternoon, it was met again.

Tory Leadership Challenge Leaked by May's Own Team, Brady Says

Last week, Brady told reporters he only managed to speak to May by phone at 9:30 p.m. after the premier had returned from a whirlwind tour of European capitals for Brexit talks. But according to his account in The House, by early evening the parliamentary press corps was “buzzing with rumors” and were calling Brady for confirmation of his request to see the prime minister.

“I am confident that my office doesn’t leak,” Brady wrote. “But someone did, could it have been someone within the government machine who didn’t have the prime minister’s best interests at heart?”

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