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Fri, 23 October 2020

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More than one-third of Tory MPs rebel as Theresa May survives no confidence vote

More than one-third of Tory MPs rebel as Theresa May survives no confidence vote
3 min read

Theresa May has survived an attempt by Tory rebels to kick her out of Downing Street by winning a vote of no-confidence in her leadership - despite more than one-third of her MPs rebelling against her.

Conservative MPs voted 200 to 117 to support the Prime Minister, meaning she cannot be challenged against for at least a year.

The result will provide some relief for Downing Street, but the number of those opposed could spell further trouble for the PM.

The result was announced by Sir Graham Brady in Parliament's oak-panelled committee room 14, to loud cheers and a standing ovation by the watching MPs.

He said: "The number of votes cast in favour of having confidence in Theresa May was 200 and against, was 117. Under the rules set out in the constitution of the Conservative Party no further confidence vote can take place for a least a year."

Speaking immediately afterwards, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: "It’s a very good result for the Prime Minister - it’s a solid result and we need to move on. Everybody has to get behind the Prime Minister and we now have to move forward."

Former Cabinet minister Damian Green, a close ally of Theresa May, said: "We’ve had a result, it was decisive and people should accept that result.”

But Brexiteer MP Mark Francois said: "For any Prime Minister, that is a pretty devastating indictment. Something has changed because one-third of her MPs said they don’t have confidence in her.”

And a Tory Brexiteer source said: "When you take out the payroll vote, this is a huge vote of no confidence in Theresa May. She can't govern and has zero chance of getting her deal through Parliament. It's time for change."


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP said: "Tonight’s vote makes no difference to the lives of our people. The Prime Minister has lost her majority in Parliament, her government is in chaos and she is unable to deliver a Brexit deal that works for the country and puts jobs and the economy first.

"That’s why she pulled the vote on her botched Brexit deal this week and is trying to avoid bringing it back to Parliament. It’s clear that she has not been able to negotiate the necessary changes in Europe.

"She must now bring her dismal deal back to the House of Commons next week so Parliament can take back control."

The ballot was triggered this morning when Sir Graham confirmed that the 48 letter threshold for triggering a no-confidence vote in the Prime Minister had been passed.

It meant Mrs May had to scrap plans to chair a Cabinet meeting to discuss preparations for a no-deal Brexit and then a meeting in Dublin with Irish PM Leo Varadkar.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street shortly afterwards, Mrs May vowed to "contest that vote with everything I've got".

In an attempt to win over wavering MPs, Mrs May later told a meeting of the backbench 1922 Committee that she would not lead her party into the 2022 election.

She also said she would do all she could to avoid a snap election as a way of breaking the Brexit deadlock, as Labour have demanded.

Speaking to journalists outside Committee Room 14 in Parliament, Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke said: "She said she does not want to lead us into the 2022 election. There was a bit of shock, a couple of tears in eyes. It is an emotional meeting. There was a huge amount of support for the Prime Minister in that room."

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