Divisions over the future of British Prime Minister Theresa May have burst into the open with a former chairman of her party saying 30 Conservative members of Parliament have backed a plot to topple her.
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.
'Next week I am going to be updating MPs on my Florence speech, which has given real momentum to the Brexit talks, and I will also be introducing a draft Bill to cap energy prices, which will stop ordinary working families from being ripped off'.
The number of rebels falls short of the 48 lawmakers needed to trigger a formal leadership challenge under party rules, but the plot further rattles May's shaky grip on power.
While 61-year-old May's own Cabinet has rallied around her, Shapps accused them of trying to overlook a series of blunders that made May's leadership of the party and the country untenable.More news: United Nations slams Myanmar's denial of access to Rakhine
The Chief Minister had been at the party conference, which was held in Manchester, discussing the Island's post-Brexit plans with senior Conservative officials.
"Boris asked me to give this to you", Nelson, also known as Simon Brodkin, told May, a reference to British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson.
The group of Tory rebels have always been critical of May but have been spurred into action after her conference speech on Wednesday was marred by mishaps.
He said the "overwhelming majority" of Tory MPs - including the "entirety" of the Cabinet - wanted her to carry on.
Shapps, who served as Tory party chairman for three years, says a "growing number" of MPs, including five former cabinet ministers, want May to step down.More news: Sequel's bad habits break "Blade Runner" spell
But the Prime Minister, who did a round of several dozen radio and TV interviews yesterday before attending party receptions, had a bad cough and struggled through much of the rest of her hour-long speech, her voice weakening noticeably towards the end.
A leadership contest could also pave the way for an election that some Conservatives worry could be won by Corbyn, whom they cast as a Marxist seeking to impose a socialist fantasy on Britain.
"Boris said in one of those corridor meetings: "Give Theresa this".
"It's been really hard for her but we really are behind her".
The party said it was reviewing security after the breach.More news: 'Catalonia independence from Spain just days away'
British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday reset her "mainstream Conservative agenda", taking on her critics, even a protester who interrupted her mid-speech, in an attempt to prove she can lead Britain and secure a strong Brexit.
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