Theresa May wins crucial confidence vote in leadership of Tory MPs
London: British Prime Minister Theresa May won a crucial vote of confidence in her leadership, with 200 votes cast in favour of her and 117 against out of a total of 317 of her Conservative Party MPs.
The vote had been triggered earlier in the day after the required 48 MPs from her Tory party filed letters of no-confidence with the influential 1922 Committee. “Whilst I am grateful for the support, a significant number of my colleagues did cast a vote against me and I have listened to what they have said,” May said in a statement outside Downing Street soon after the results were declared.
“Following this ballot, we now need to get on with the job of delivering the Brexit for the British people and building a better future for this country. A Brexit that delivers on the vote of the people,” she said, adding that she intended to carry on negotiating with the European Union (EU) over controversial aspects of her Brexit deal when she heads to Brussels for a pre-scheduled European Council meeting on Thursday.
The verdict of the confidence vote was formally announced by Graham Brady, Chair of the 1922 Committee made up of Tory backbenchers, who revealed that the Parliamentary Party “does have confidence in Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party”. Under the party’s rules, May’s leadership cannot be challenged for at least a year now.
The MPs, unhappy with the Brexit deal May has struck with the EU, began voting on her future Wednesday evening. A majority of the MPs had publicly said they would be voting for the PM but as it was a secret ballot, there was uncertainty over the result.
May was reportedly greeted with applause, and the traditional banging of desks as she went into a House of Commons Committee Room reserved for the vote to address her MPs before they began casting their ballots.
In her impassioned plea to the 1922 Committee, she told her colleagues that she had listened to all their criticism and confirmed that she would only hang on to Downing Street to see Brexit through before stepping down. This would mean she would not lead the party into the next General Election, scheduled for 2022.
“She was very clear that she won’t be taking the General Election in 2022,” said UK work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd