UK PM ‘Theresa May must resign or the Conservatives should force her out, after the party’s heavy local election losses, Iain Duncan Smith has said.
The former Tory leader called Mrs May a “caretaker PM” and described her attempts to reach a Brexit deal with Labour as “absurd”.
The party suffered its worst local election result in England since 1995.
Other senior Conservatives have urged Tory MPs to compromise with Labour to ensure Brexit is delivered.
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Elections were held on Thursday for 248 English councils, six mayors, and all 11 councils in Northern Ireland. No elections took place in Scotland or Wales.
The Conservatives lost 1,334 councillors, while Labour failed to make expected gains, instead losing 82 seats.
The Liberal Democrats benefited from Tory losses, gaining 703 seats, with the Greens and independents also making gains.
Following the results, Mrs May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both insisted they would push ahead with talks seeking cross-party agreement on leaving the EU.
Mrs May said it was clear the public wanted “to see the issue of Brexit resolved”.
But Mr Duncan Smith, a leading Brexiteer, said many Conservatives would refuse to back any deal reached between the two parties.
Mrs May must announce her departure “very soon”, he said, and if she did not go, the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs would have to force her to do so.
During an interview, he said: “As a result of the devastating election result, the PM has in effect become a caretaker.
“As such, she is not empowered to make any deal with the Labour Party which itself suffered a very similar result.
Two discredited administrations making a discredited deal is not the answer to the electorate.”
In December, Mrs May survived a vote of no-confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party, but in March she pledged to stand down if and when Parliament ratified her Brexit withdrawal agreement with the EU.