TORY backbenchers should give Theresa May more time before turfing her out of Number 10, one of the favourites to replace her has claimed.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the Prime Minister should remain where she is until her deal gets through parliament.

With little prospect of the Tory leader getting enough votes to get the Withdrawal Agreement passed by MPs any time soon, that could mean May remaining in post until the new October Brexit deadline, at least.

Reports suggested the plea to give their beleaguered boss more time was also part of a strategy to harm the campaigns of Brexiteers, like Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, who could go into any contest in the immediate future pledging to reopen the agreement with Brussels, or pushing for a hard Brexit.

Speaking on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme, Hunt said: “There will be a time for all those discussions about whether this shade of person or that shade of person is the right person to take over from the Prime Minister. But the time for that is when she has announced she’s going and there’s a formal leadership contest.”

Addressing speculation over a potential leadership challenge from Johnson, Hunt said: “There is one very big difference between me and Boris, which is that I am Foreign Secretary and I have a very big job to do to try and get this deal over the line. That has to be my focus.

“I think what matters is that we have a cabinet that believes in Brexit, and we believe in Brexit, whichever way we voted in the referendum, because we’re all democrats and we think that there are great opportunities for this country, whichever choice it makes.”

Home Secretary, and fellow potential leadership contender, Sajid Javid, echoed Hunt’s comments.

“I’m very comfortable with the Prime Minister and the work she is doing,” he said during a question and answer session at a speech in London.

“I think everyone recognised that it has been incredibly difficult in the last few months. The Prime Minister had been working incredibly hard to try and reach a deal, try and reach a compromise in parliament.

“When you have a parliament that is rejecting one proposal after another, it does mean that what the Prime Minister is doing now is just so vital to try and get agreement.”

During the speech Javid suggested his upbringing meant he could easily have ended up a criminal.

Speaking to an audience of youth workers and senior police officers Javid said: “I grew up on what one tabloid dubbed Britain’s most dangerous street. It’s not so difficult to see how, instead of being in cabinet, I could have turned out to have a life of crime myself. Pupils at my school were shoplifting and asked me if I wanted to help.”

Meanwhile, Number 10 confirmed that May is on a walking holiday in North Wales. It was two years ago, during a similar holiday, she decided to call a snap election.

Asked if May was considering going back to the country, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “No.”