British Prime Minister insists she has "full support" of Cabinet

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A prankster handed Theresa May a P45, ostensibly from Boris Johnson, during her speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

Backbencher George Freeman, who heads Mrs May's policy board, said a leadership challenge risked handing the keys of No 10 to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Shapps was a minister in David Cameron's government but an ally of the former premier said he has misjudged the situation.

It was supposed to be one of the most important speeches of British Prime Minister Theresa May's political career, one that would quell speculation over her leadership position and unite the Conservative Party behind her. In another move to help families, she said the government would introduce a cap on energy prices to stop people being ripped off by high gas and electricity prices.

But those loyal to the prime minister said it was clear that the rebels lacked the 48 MPs they needed to force a contest under the party rules, and questioned whether they could even muster as many as 30.

A prankster handed her a mocked-up P45, she struggled to deliver her remarks because of an incessant cough, and there were problems with the backdrop.

May's office says she will close the party's conference Wednesday with a speech telling ministers to "shape up" and focus on "the daily lives of ordinary working people".

Sterling chart
Sterling continued to slip on Friday

Conservative British MP Grant Shapps on Friday called for a new leadership election within Theresa May's party, saying that the country is not "on the right path" under her leadership.

Shapps said he had hoped to speak to the prime minister privately but the Tory party whips had unmasked him in the Times newspaper.

Shapps told the BBC that May was a "perfectly decent person" but had "rolled the dice" and lost over her decision to call a snap election.

The Conservative leader used her speech to shoulder the blame for the election, and received several ovations from the audience.

Home secretary Amber Rudd and first secretary of state Damian Green both countered overnight news of Shapps' list, throwing their weight behind May's leadership.

He claimed the note was from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - whose desperation to be prime minister is well documented.

May began her speech by talking about why she joined the party 40 years ago, highlighting that the things that have made her most proud have not been the positions held but "knowing that I made a difference - helped those who can not be heard". One senior lawmaker who believes May is deeply wounded said she would survive this crisis but the next one would end her leadership.

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