Shapps has been vocal in his concerns about the prime minister’s position recently and this morning confirmed he was behind attempts to persuade her to step down.
This week has been seen as a hard one for the prime minister at the Conservative party conference, highlighted by a mishap-laden closing keynote speech.
A series of policy announcements focusing on the housing market has been eclipsed by the government’s bickering and in-fighting.
You can’t carry on
Speaking on the BBC Today programme, Shapps said there were about 30 backbench MPs who agreed with him, including five former cabinet ministers, while sitting cabinet ministers had privately confessed their concerns.
“The time has come. You can’t just carry on when things aren’t working. The solution is not to bury heads in the sand,” he said.
Shapps also said this came from across the party, including those who wanted to leave the EU, remain and those “somewhere in the middle” like himself.
However cabinet ministers have been quick to defend the prime minister, suggesting there was no appetite within the party for a leadership challenge.