Theresa May survives confidence vote and will remain UK Prime Minister

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British Prime Minister, Theresa May on Wednesday won a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party by 200 to 117.

The debate that led to a vote to decide whether she will remain as the Prime Minister or not was triggered by 48 Conservative rebel MPs, who did not like the Brexit deal she worked out with EU in November.

After two hours of voting in Committee Room 14 in the House of Commons, Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, said 200 Conservative lawmakers had voted in support of May as leader, and 117 against.

Before the vote, May told her MPs  she expects to step down before the next scheduled election in 2022.

“It is not her intention to lead the party in the 2022 general election,” Solicitor General Robert Buckland told the BBC after the meeting. Quite rightly she is focusing on the here and now and the need for Brexit to be delivered.”

MPs and ministers had rallied round May since the confidence vote was announced on Wednesday morning, sending the pound rising amid expectations she would win. In a defiant statement earlier outside her Downing Street office, the prime minister said she was “ready to finish the job” by taking Britain out of the European Union next March.

She warned that ousting her now, sparking a weeks-long leadership contest, would “create uncertainty when we can least afford it”. May also warned that finding a successor who would automatically become prime minister “would mean either delaying or stopping Brexit”.

Victory would make the prime minister immune from a further Conservative challenge for a year under parliamentary rules, but would not resolve her central problem how to get divided MPs to agree to her Brexit deal. She was forced to postpone this week’s vote in the House of Commons on the text after admitting she faced a huge defeat, as her own MPs joined with opposition parties to reject it.

Theresa May’s statement in full after surviving confidence vote

“This has been a long and challenging day, but at the end of it I’m pleased to have received the backing of my colleagues in tonight’s ballot.

“Whilst I am grateful for that support, a significant number of colleagues did cast a vote against me, and I have listened to what they said.

“Following this ballot we now need to get on with the job of delivering Brexit for the British people and building a better future for this country.

“A Brexit that delivers on the votes that people gave, that brings back control of our money, our borders and our laws.

“That protects jobs, security and the union, that brings the country back together rather than entrenching division.

“That must start here in Westminster with politicians on all sides coming together and acting in the national interest.

“For my part I have heard what the House of Commons said about the Northern Ireland backstop and when I get to the European Council tomorrow I will be seeking legal and political assurances that will assuage the concerns that members of Parliament have on that issue.

“But while delivering Brexit is important we also need to focus on the other issues that people feel are vital to them and matter to them today.

“The issues that we came into politics to deal with, building a stronger economy, delivering first-class public services, building the homes that families need.

“We owe it to the people who put us here to put their priorities first.

“So here is our renewed mission: delivering the Brexit that people voted for, bringing the country back together, and building a country that truly works for everyone.”

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