Midland Tory MPs have rallied around Theresa May and insisted she should stay on as Prime Minister.
And some hit out at Grant Shapps, the former Conservative Party Chairman who is leading a plot to force her to stand down.
Mr Shapps admitted he had the support of about 30 Conservative MPs who want Mrs May to quit.
Details emerged following her party conference speech, where she suffered from a cough, was interrupted by a comedian handing her a P45 and letters fell of the stage backdrop behind her.
But Mr Shapps said the party needed a new leader because it had “lost an election”.
Warwickshire MP Marcus Jones (Con Nuneaton) backed Mrs May and pointed out the Tories got 14 million votes at the last election, saying on Twitter: “She got mandate of 14m votes. Right to stay and carry through her positive domestic agenda and Brexit.”
Shropshire MP Mark Pritchard (Con The Wrekin) said: “Attempts to drum up a delegation of 30 MPs to try & force PM out - will fail. Also cowardly.”
Warwickshire MP Nadhim Zahawi (Con Stratford) tweeted: “Inundated with message of support for Theresa May from members. Grant Shapps has misjudged the mood of the party and MPs”.
Black Country MP Margot James (Con Strourbridge) said Mr Shapps does not enjoy wide support in the party after he resigned as chairman following allegations of bullying in the Tories’ youth wing.
She posted: “Since road trip turmoil under his party chairmanship Grant Shapps lacks a base in the party.”
Staffordshire backbencher Michael Fabricant (Con Lichfield) suggested Mr Shapps held a grudge because he is no longer a minister.
“I wouldn’t buy a used car from one embittered colleague - let alone take advice from him about who should be PM,” he said.
“Theresa May should remain.”
Mr Shapps said that while ministers were publicly backing the Prime Minister, in private some believed she should go.
He said the plan had been to approach Mrs May privately but the Government whips had leaked details to the Times.
“I am slightly surprised that the whips decided to brief a newspaper about it. That was their idea to smoke people out,” he said.
“The intention was to be able to go to Mrs May with a list of names - probably with the former Cabinet ministers going to see her.”
He added: “It will have to be her decision. I had rather hoped that we would be able to get to point where we could go to her privately and have this conversation; I am very sorry that the whips have not made this possible.”
Mr Shapps had not meant for the plot to be publicised, and blamed Government whips for telling the Times newspaper about it.
He told the BBC’s Today programme: “I’m slightly surprised that the whips briefed the newspapers about it,”
South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson is Mrs May’s chief whip and one of her most important allies.