Confidence vote victory would still leave Theresa May with less authority

Confidence vote victory would still leave Theresa May with less authority

She needs the support of 158 MPs in the ballot - half of the parliamentary party plus one - in order to remain as leader.

Quizzed on whether she might tell her colleagues at the 1922 Committee a date for her departure, the spokesman said: "I'm not aware of that, no".

She insisted she would stay on to "finish the job" she has set herself as Prime Minister.

How was the challenge triggered?

"If we do support the Prime Minister we can honour the mandate that the British people have given us".

However a significant mutiny could make her leadership untenable.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I saw Graham Brady last night to hand him my letter in person and it appears that my letter did not trigger us over the edge because I think he would have announced it by now".

If a confidence vote is triggered, all 315 Tory MPs will be entitled to take part in a secret ballot in which they will be asked if they still have confidence in the prime minister.

But if she loses, she must resign and a leadership election is then organised.

Victory for May over her rebel MPs will mean she can not face another no-confidence challenge from within her party for 12 months, giving her some breathing space as she attempts to tweak her deal and get it through parliament. The vote to determine the victor is then opened to the wider Conservative Party membership.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt also said, "The Prime Minister has my full support, not least because she has always done what she firmly believes is in the national interest".

"Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said that he was "'backing Theresa May tonight. "PM has my full support and is best person to ensure we leave European Union on 29 March".

During the 2016 EU referendum campaign, Tory minister and leave campaigner Michael Gove warned that Britain would be like "hostages locked in the back of the car" if the country did not leave the European Union.

"I urge every Conservative MP to do the same", he wrote on Twitter.

More conciliatory candidates, including Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, are also possible contenders.

'The government need to be putting the country first and providing real leadership at this time of constitutional crisis.

Rees-Mogg, leader of the eurosceptic European Research Group, is among the 48 MPs to have written to Brady calling for a leadership challenge.

May's own position is uncertain and she could face a swift challenge.

What Happens During A Confidence Vote?

Mrs May has said she is seeking guarantees that this clause will be "temporary" but the Democratic Unionist Party, which she relies on to win key votes, wants the backstop to be ditched altogether.

"Bookies have slashed odds from 1/1 to 1/4 in May's favour of winning the vote".

If she wins the ballot then she will remain in charge of the party and the country and another contest can not be triggered for the next 12 months. None of that would be in the national interest.

But her decision to cancel Tuesday's Parliamentary vote on her deal at the last minute proved to be the final straw for many who had previously given her the benefit of the doubt.

European Council President Donald Tusk announced on December 10 that he had called a meeting of the EU Council for December 13 to discuss how to "facilitate United Kingdom ratification".

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