Theresa May has pencilled in Friday, August 30, 2019 as the day she will quit as Prime Minister.
That gives her exactly two years to see Britain through Brexit before handing over to her successor.
Mrs May is on a charm offensive with her MPs – entertaining small groups of 15 plus partners to a day out at her Chequers country retreat.
Each MP is emailed personal invitations until they accept.
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She greets each guest in person at the door, offering them prosecco, canapés and homemade chocolates with husband Philip to persuade them to give her the time to complete the withdrawal from the EU.
One Tory MP who was a guest said: “It’s clear she won’t lead us into another election and will be gone by September 2019. She invited MPs to Chequers to ensure there isn’t a leadership contest in the meantime.
“Giving the dogs a stroke is better than giving them a kick, I suppose.”
The plan is to have a leadership election over the summer of 2019 with the winner announced on August 30.
The new PM would then face MPs on Tuesday, September 3, as Parliament returns from its summer break.
Mrs May is anxious to stamp out talk of a challenge when MPs gather in the Commons next week.
Although Brexit Secretary David Davis has been urged to stand he is understood to have ordered allies – including former chief whip Andrew Mitchell and ex-Tory chairman Grant Shapps – to stop campaigning.
Only 15 Tories have so far agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in the PM. It needs 48 to trigger a contest.
Ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith is leading the operation to keep Mrs May in place, telling wavering MPs that internal squabbling must not derail the Brexit process.