Cameron warned to improve or face no-confidence vote

Tory plotters are 'polishing their knives', telling the PM he has until summer 2014 to lift his game

LAST UPDATED AT 10:53 ON Fri 1 Feb 2013

JUST days after a plot to install a backbench Tory MP as Conservative leader was exposed, prime minister David Cameron has been warned he has until the summer of 2014 to improve his party's fortunes or face a vote of no-confidence from rebels. 

The Daily Mail says "plotters" within the Tory Party are also trying to "whip up support" for a letter calling on the PM to remove chancellor George Osborne from the Treasury if the UK falls into a triple-dip recession.

As Cameron began the final leg of his African tour today by co-chairing a UN meeting in Liberia, The Guardian reported that the PM has been told to improve poll ratings and ensure the party does well at the local elections if he is to head off a revolt next year. The paper says a "diehard group of party rebels" who would like to replace Cameron now will "significantly grow in numbers over the next 17 months" if Conservative fortunes do not improve.

The previous campaign to collect 120 signed letters in support of Adam Afriyie – the millionaire MP for Windsor who has been dubbed the "Tory Obama" – was widely derided in Tory ranks, the paper says. But there is a "growing belief" among the party faithful that enough MPs are concerned about the Conservatives' poor standing in the polls and the prospect of bloodshed at the local elections in May to "trigger a vote of confidence" next year. A vote would be brought on automatically if 46 MPs – 15 per cent of the parliamentary party – write to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, The Guardian says.

The Mail says the failure of the Afriyie "plot" has simply encouraged Tory rebels to seek Osborne's head instead. The paper understands the conspirators intend to send a letter to Cameron after the local elections "calling on him to replace the chancellor if his March budget fails to drag the economy from the doldrums".

The idea of a "job swap" between Osborne and foreign secretary William Hague has been "floated privately" by senior Tories, the paper adds.

Any leadership challenge to Cameron would be "utter insanity", argues Robert Colville in the Daily Telegraph. The fact that plotters are "polishing their knives" leads to one obvious conclusion: "The lunatic fringe of the Conservative Party is rather larger than we thought."

The rebels' arguments against Cameron and Osborne ignore "a whole host of counter-arguments", says Colville. "First, this government – despite its reputation – isn't an omnishambles. It's doing some bad things, and many good things, but in general terms is light years away from the depths of the Callaghan, Major or Brown administrations." · 

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I despair! - It is far too late in the day to think of replacing Cameron as Prime minister - welcome as that prospect might be. Hague, I feel, might make a better Chancellor than Osborne seems to have been, although I cannot really see Osborne stepping up to the plate with any real credibility as Foreign Secretary - so, please, forget about that particular "job swap".

Cameron is becoming widely distrusted both within and beyond his own party - every utterance that he makes now needs to be analysed in minute detail (just like Blair) - he is mendacious and evasive over some vital issues concerning our national interest; his latest display of slipperiness seems to have been his, subsequently "clarified", commitment to a real-terms increase in defence spending "after 2015" - just WHAT does that mean? It seems that he did NOT mean increased expenditure on recruitment and retention of Armed Forces personnel - rather the opposite, it transpires - rather, he seems to be saying, an increase in expenditure on equipment and R&D.

The problem, it seems, is that Cameron is incapable of lifting his game - he does not listen and he does not seem to consult very widely beyond his own coterie of advisors and sycophants who tell him what he WANTS to hear - not what he NEEDS to hear.

This should have been done long long ago. The damage the ConDems have done to this country is irreparable. They have walked roughshod over everyone less fortunate than they and their cronies.

Cameron is useless

David Cameron...He has no idea and is ruining this country

If the Tories want to have any chance of winning the next election then they should get rid of David Cameron as soon as possible or they are doomed.
There is no way they will get elected again if he remains Prime Minister for much longer.

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