Theresa May condemned ‘dehumanising and derogatory’ language in politics today after anonymous Tories made a series of violent claims about her future.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said she would not dignify the specific quotes with a response.
But she warned violent language ‘has no place in our politics’ and is ‘not something we expect to happen’.
The anonymous politicians who launched the vitriolic attacks on the PM faced a serious backlash today amid claims they should be unmasked and kicked out of the party.
The lurid quotes, given anonymously to several Sunday papers, came from MPs and former ministers – several of whom were cited as allies of former Brexit Secretary David Davis.
The graphic metaphors also included Mrs May being told to ‘bring her own noose’ to a ‘show trial. A former minister is said to have warned the PM she faces being stabbed in the chest with a hot knife – that would then be twisted.
The violent claims about Mrs May’s fate come just over two years after MP Jo Cox was assassinated on the streets of her Batley and Spen constituency and amid growing alarm at violent rhetoric in politics.
Tory critics of Theresa May (pictured today arriving at Downing Street) who claimed she was in the ‘killing zone’ and faced ‘assassination’
Mrs May’s spokesman said: ‘I don’t intend to dignify those specific anonymous comments with a response.
‘The Prime Minister has always been very clear that we must set a tone in public discourse that is neither dehumanising nor derogatory.
‘Personal vitriol has no place in our politics.’
Senior Tory Sarah Wollaston said: ‘Shame on the spineless cowards on my benches who hide behind anonymity to use such disturbing and violent language about their own colleague and PM Theresa May.
‘Totally unacceptable. Have they learned nothing following the assassination of Jo Cox?’
Tory MP Paul Masterton said: ‘If I was told to ”bring my own noose” to my next surgery, that I’d be ”knived”, or ”assassinated”, my staff would report it to the police.
‘I don’t really see why comments made by snivelling cowards on the back benches towards the Prime Minister should be treated differently.’
Conor Burns, a former parliamentary aide to Boris Johnson, endorsed the Tory whips identifying and de-selecting the sources of the quotes.
He said: ‘Some of the language used about the PM supposedly from other MPs in today’s press is totally unacceptable.
‘Yes there are huge disagreements on principled grounds with her Chequers plan. But they should be debated with courtesy and mutual respect.’