THE immediate threat to Theresa May’s premiership has been lifted but Tory colleagues have asked for a “clear roadmap,” setting out her departure from office.

With a head of steam building up, particularly from the Brexiteer faction, the executive of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee met for a second day running in the Commons to hear arguments for and against changing the rules on ousting a leader.

In December, the Prime Minister saw off a bid to remove her by a margin of 200 to 117 in a vote of Tory MPs. Under party rules, this meant she could not be challenged for another 12 months.

However, critics of her handling of Brexit have called for the grace period to be reduced to six months, which would allow for a second confidence vote to take place in June.

Yet the officers of the committee finally came down against changing the party's rules.

After the meeting, the 1922 Chairman Sir Graham Brady said he believed the issue had now been settled for the foreseeable future.

While he said the committee had rejected calls for a rule change, the Cheshire MP pointed out it was always open to colleagues to write to him as Chairman to raise concerns, including ones about the party leadership and that the “strength of opinion would be communicated by me to the leader of the party should they decide to do so”.

Sir Graham further explained that the 1922 had decided, following Mrs May’s decision a few weeks ago to set out a clear schedule for departure as leader of the party in the event of the Withdrawal Agreement being passed, to seek similar clarity from her should this not happen.

“The 1922 executive is asking on behalf of the Conservative Party in Parliament that we should have a clear roadmap forward," he added.

As on Brexit, the party is divided over how long Mrs May should stay on for.

Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans, a member of the 1922 executive, has publicly called for the PM to go "as soon as possible".

But Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary, argued: "Changing the PM will not change what we need to do to deliver Brexit; we should get on and deliver Brexit…”

Richard Harrington, the former Business Minister who quit over the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, agreed, saying a leadership election now would be "disastrous" for the party.

One senior Tory at the 1922 meeting described how a succession of MPs called for an end to "squabbling" during the ongoing campaign for the local elections in England on May 2.

Many Conservatives fear their party will suffer heavy losses at this poll and also in the May 23 European elections - should they take place - with Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party being the main beneficiary of the Tories’ slide.

One noted: “The end of May could see the end of May.”