Theresa May has, according to a major newspaper, hinted that she may demote Boris Johnson, the UK's Foreign Secretary.

During an interview with The Sunday Times, the UK prime minister was asked what her plans were for Johnson. According to The Sunday Times, she 'signalled' that she would be open to reducing his level of responsibility.

The Conference, and the aftermath

The last few days have been turbulent for the Prime Minister. The annual conservative party conference was the venue for some of the most unsettling moments. At one point, a protester handed Mrs.

May a P45 (the formal notice, in the UK, that you have left an employer. This may have been viewed as a silly stunt, but it was part of a number of incidents during the conference. Further trouble came when the letters of a slogan hanging behind her started to fall off while she was addressing the party. In addition, a major coughing fit was a noticeable intrusion to her big speech.

However, one of the key aspects of the conference was the appearance, and speech, of Boris Johnson. Taking to the podium, it wasn't long before his speech became an embarrassment for the party.

Johnson has always been seen as a slightly oafish maverick. He has, in the past, delivered inappropriate messages about women, and has on more than one occasion seen fit to be rude when talking about other cultures.

At the conference this year, he was again at the centre of a controversy.

While speaking at a fringe event outside the conference venue, he made some comments about the current prospects for trade with Libya. According to The Independent, he said: "They literally have a brilliant vision to turn Sirte – with the help of the municipality of Sirte –into the next Dubai.

The only thing they've got to do is clear the dead bodies away and then they'll be there.”

The fallout from his comments was headed up by a call, by the Libya parliament, for Mrs. May to formally apologise for Johnson's remarks. In addition, a number of party members criticised Mr. Johnson for his comments.

Before the conference started, Boris Johnson had written a newspaper article in September that outlined his own vision for the Brexit negotiations.

Many saw this as a direct challenge to May's leadership.

Theresa May continues to fight

Later in the week, Johnson called for unity in the party. But many feel the damage has already been done and it is too late. While May did not directly state that she would demote Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister is notoriously firm with her cabinet. According to Reuters, May said: “It has never been my style to hide from a challenge and I’m not going to start now.”

Whether this means that she wishes to demote Johnson remains to be seen. According to The Sunday Times, the Prime ministers' office refused to comment on the interview.