CABINET ministers loyal to Theresa May have given up hope for the Prime Minister and believe she will have to step aside in the coming weeks, it has been reported.

Close allies, including her de facto deputy David Lidington and her leadership campaign chair Chris Grayling, have come to the conclusion she will never get a Brexit deal passed in the Commons, according to The Sunday Times.

May has failed to strike a Brexit agreement with the Labour party despite weeks of talks, while her backbenchers and the Tory grassroots have been increasing the pressure on her to quit.

Loyal Cabinet ministers expect her to be ousted in the wake of the European Parliament elections on May 23 and before senior Tory officials meet on June 15 to deliver a vote of no confidence in her leadership.

One said: “It feels like this is going to end in tears very quickly. The parliamentary party wants her to go, the voluntary party wants her to go, the Cabinet doesn’t believe she can survive. My view is her time probably is up.”

The paper added that Chief Whip Julian Smith, Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire are also among those who believe it’s time for her to quit.

The UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Amber Rudd, the Work and Pensions Secretary, yesterday signalled they are prepared to work together to replace May.

The developments come as a poll put the new Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage in the lead for the first time in Westminster voting intention, with 20% compared with 19% for the Tories.

It means the former Ukip leader could secure 49 seats at a General Election, with the Tories on 179 and Labour able to form a minority government with 316.

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart and former DWP Secretary Esther McVey have formally announced they intend to stand for the party’s leadership.

Steve Baker, an arch Eurosceptic, yesterday announced he would stand if other Brexiteers vote for May’s deal to leave the EU.

In a warning shot at Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, the Brexiteer frontrunners to succeed May, Baker said they must oppose the second reading of the government’s Withdrawal Bill or face a challenge.

After resigning from the Cabinet to oppose May’s Brexit deal, both Johnson and Raab backed it when MPs voted on it a third time.

Allies of Johnson and Raab fear the Brexiteer vote among Tory MPs could be split because McVey is standing and Andrea Leadsom is considering joining the race.

May will on Thursday meet the executive of the Tories’ 1922 committee of backbench MPs, when she is expected to face fresh pressure to name a departure date.

If she does not provide clarity, the committee may seek to change its rule book to allow MPs to force a Tory leadership election sooner than the current permitted date of December 12.

A substantial number of Conservative MPs and activists want May to make way for a new leader quickly because of her failure to get her Brexit deal approved by the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister has said she will only step down once her deal is passed by Parliament. MPs’ rejection of the EU Withdrawal Agreement has forced Brexit to be delayed from March 29 to as late as October 31.

One of the Conservative party’s candidates for the European Parliament elections described the mood on the campaign trail as “absolutely terrible”, telling The Financial Times “the problem is the PM personally. Not her deal or her policies — her”. If she stands aside this week — that is, if the succession is already formally under way by polling day — there may be something for her successor to salvage. If not, we are looking at the end of the Conservative party.”

One senior Conservative MP told the paper “the pressure will be overwhelming” for May to resign after the European Parliament elections. The local elections on May 2 increased the pressure on May after the Tories lost more than 1,000 seats: the party’s worst performance in over 20 years.