A Former Cabinet Minister Is Leading An Attempted Coup Against Theresa May

Theresa May's speech overshadowed by a persistent cough and a prankster

Prime Minister receives P45 during speech at Conservative conference

A prankster who has previously targeted US President Donald Trump and former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter interrupted British Prime Minister Theresa May's keynote speech at her annual conference on Wednesday.

Shapps also said this came from across the party, including those who wanted to leave the European Union, remain and those "somewhere in the middle" like himself.

"They are Remainers, they are Brexiteers", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

May also struggled to deliver the speech after succumbing to multiple coughing fits and a hoarse voice that was brought on by a "conference cold", her office said.

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The Conservatives already were in a sour mood after June's snap election - called three years early in hopes of bolstering the party's majority in Parliament - saw May's government reduced to a minority administration.

During the speech, notorious prankster Simon Brodkin, alias stand-up comedian Lee Nelson, delivered a mocked up P45 to the Prime Minister shouting as he was led from the hall that Boris Johnson had put him up to it. At one point the conference floor rose to a standing ovation, their applause meant to help her voice recover.

"What the country needs is calm leadership and that's what I'm providing with the full support of my cabinet", May said in a statement.

Shapps said he had the support of about 30 MPs including five former cabinet ministers and suggested some cabinet ministers privately agreed but would be reluctant to back him because they were on the "payroll". Greg Clark, the business secretary, praised the "guts and grace" the prime minister showed during her speech in Manchester.

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He continued by saying the sender may have meant to send the package to the woman's former address at a empty condo in the area. Police are reportedly working to trace the botched delivery back to the person in California who sent it.

Things started to go off the rails when a prankster, in a major security breach, approached May as she was speaking from the podium and handed her a P45, the British equivalent of a pink slip.

The Conservative Party is failing miserably to hide the fractures in its ranks. "MPs' confidence in Theresa May is at a low point", said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, an online trading platform.

What should have been remembered as a landmark speech in the political career of British Prime Minister Theresa May, turned out to be series of unfortunate events.

He acknowledged, however, that they could not force the Prime Minister's hand and that it was up to her to decide whether she wanted to carry on.

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Shapps defended his decision to challenge May's leadership, saying: "We're not on the right path and the answer - after a frankly disastrous election - to have a new leader is hardly a radical thought".

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