Mrs May returns to the UK next week following a three week holiday, during which time several prominent Tory Remainers have revealed their hopes for a soft Brexit vastly at odds with the PM’s vision outlined in her Lancaster House speech in January.
The knives have been sharpened for Mrs May ever since June’s disastrous general election result left her promise of “strong and stable” government during tough Brexit negotiations in tatters.
Now those still faithful to the Prime Minister believe the only way she can reassert her authority is by showing her ruthless streak and culling hard Brexit naysayers from her top team.
Top of the hit list is Chancellor Philip Hammond, who has already faced calls to be sacked for suggesting a transitional period after Britain leaves the EU which closely resembled the existing membership of the customs union.
His comments appeared to have been timed to coincide with a policy push by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, another prominent remainer, who said free movement from the EU could continue after March 2019.
Ms Rudd is known to have leadership ambitions, and although she is not currently expected to lose her cabinet role, Mrs May will be worried about the apparent partnerhsip forming between her chancellor and her home secretary.
Also in the firing line are Conservative chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin, who has been partly blamed for the election failure.
Defence secretary Michael Fallon, education secretary Justine Greening and communities secretary Sajid Javid, all Remainers, could also be in trouble.
One hardline Brexiteer who is also tipped to be shown the door is Andrea Leadsom, Mrs May’s former leadership rival and current leader of the House of Commons, who is regarded as something of a weak link, according to the Sun.
Having survived through the immediate aftermath of the election, Mrs May’s supporters think now is the time to consolidate her position with a clear-out ahead of the Conservative Party conference in October.
One nister told the paper: “There’s a growing feeling that the PM has to show who’s boss.”
In doing so she would also open the door to a new generation of rising Tory stars, refreshing her frontbench for what is certain to be a demanding new Parliament.
Curiously, some of the names being mooted as possible cabinet members voted to Remain in the EU.
Jo Johnson, younger brother of foreign secretary Boris Johnson, is widley seen as a pro-European more to the left of the party than his famous sibling.
Tobias Ellwood, the defence minister hailed a hero for trying to help PC Keith Palmer during the Westminster terror attack, also voted to Remain, but has since said the referendum result needs to be honoured.
Among the eurosceptics, Esher and Walton MP Dominic Raab has long been tipped for a cabinet position, and now could be his time if Mrs May decides to reshuffle her pack.
One MP certainly not in ine for promotion is Anna Soubry, the outspoken pro-EU Tory who has proved a thorn in the side of hardline Conservative Brexiteers.
In an article for the Mail on Sunday, Ms Soubry threatened to quit the party all together if Mrs Maycontinues to “stagger recklessly towards a hard Brexit that destroyed the lives of my constituents”.