THE race to replace Theresa May as Tory leader is fast turning into a “reality TV show”, a government minister has claimed.

Tobias Ellwood called on his colleagues to take the process more seriously.

The call came as bankers at JP Morgan warned investors that Boris Johnson was likely to be the next prime minister, and would very probably call a General Election to gain support for his Brexit plan.

In a research note, titled “Brexit: Time to be afraid, as ‘no deal’ probability rises”, the bank said the former foreign secretary would win a leadership contest and be in place before the autumn.

“Boris Johnson becomes PM in early September on a ‘no deal if we have to’ platform,” JP Morgan’s Malcolm Barr predicted.

“The EU refuses his central objective of removing the backstop from the withdrawal agreement.”

“The Commons begins the process of legislating to force Johnson to seek an Article 50 extension, and Johnson calls a General Election seeking a mandate for his approach,” the note added.

“The UK and EU agree to extend Article 50 to end-December to allow time for the General Election to take place and for discussions to follow it."

READ MORE: Scottish Conservatives set to back Boris Johnson for PM

The bank also said the chances of a no-deal Brexit had increased from 15% to 25%.

While Johnson is by far the favourite to take over from May, and is hugely popular with party members – 39% backed him in a recent YouGov poll – he’s not well liked by some of his Westminster colleagues.

Yesterday, Digital and Creative Industries Minister Margot James said Johnson’s response to industry fears over Brexit showed he had the wrong attitude and meant he was not fit for “high public office”.

Last year, when asked about corporate concerns, Johnson had reportedly told diplomats “f*** business”.

James told the Guardian: “I don’t think people in the public eye should be using language like that to discuss the concerns of the business community,” she said. “It’s the dismissive attitude to business that’s a problem among some people for whom Brexit is everything.”

James is a member of the new One Nation group of Tories.

The 60-strong group of MPs, which includes Amber Rudd, George Freeman, Nicky Morgan and Damian Green launched on Monday and is putting pressure on candidates for the top job not to swing too far right.

Meanwhile, Ellwood has called on colleagues “toying” with the idea of becoming the next prime minister to take the process more seriously and stop treating it like a “reality TV show”.

He said continued talk about the leadership contest is a “little bit self-indulgent and parochial”.

Speaking at an event in Westminster, Ellwood said: “No, I’m not standing. Absolutely not. I do not have the experience. I don’t have the rank to stand as leader.

“And, I wish some of my colleagues, with humility, would take the post a little bit more seriously. This is not a reality TV show.

“Ambition is good. It allows us to elevate ourselves and reach higher levels. But ambition on its own is purely selfish and trying to promote the individual.

“Leadership is the combination of ambition and vision.

“How does it look to a nation when we have got the biggest issue there, Brexit, and yet we have got so many – what is it, up to 20, 25 ... people – thinking, or toying, or denying being firm with the answer, to say, ‘no, I’m not going to stand’.”

May is to set out the timetable for her exit and the leadership contest to succeed her after a crunch vote on Brexit legislation in early June.

Last week, Johnson announced that he was keen on the top job, telling delegates at a business dinner in Manchester: “Of course I’m going to go for it.”

Rory Stewart and Esther McVey have already said they’ll go for the position.

Dominic Raab, Liz Truss, Matt Hancock, Andrea Leadsom, Penny Mordaunt, Sajid Javid, Michael Gove, and Jeremy Hunt, are all expected to throw their hats into the ring.