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12th Dec 2018

Theresa May survives no confidence vote

The votes are in

Oli Dugmore

Theresa May leadership contest

The votes are in

Theresa May has won a no confidence vote in her leadership of the Conservative party.

She received 200 votes in favour, 117 against. With a majority of 83, the prime minister was just 42 MPs away from being defeated.

Her authority is weakened even further, if that is even possible.

A vote of no confidence in the prime minister’s leadership was triggered after the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, received 48 letters demanding the prime minister’s resignation. The threshold is 15 per cent of the parliamentary Conservative party which, at the moment, amounts to 48 MPs.

In a final plea to her party before the vote, the prime minister said she would not contest a 2022 general election. Other desperate measures included restoring the vote to suspended Conservative MPs Andrew Griffiths and Charlie Elphicke.

Boris Johnson was favourite to replace the prime minister, according to the bookies, followed by Dominic Raab and Sajid Javid.

Ahead of the vote the prime minister said deposing her “will stop or delay” Brexit, which seems a virtual certainty regardless of the result. “The new leader would not have time to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement,” she said.

Well, let’s see what happens now.

The colossal task ahead, though, is the passing of the draft Brexit agreement through the House of Commons. At the eleventh hour, May’s government pulled the vote from parliament because she was going to lose it so dramatically – the decision that precipitated this confidence vote.

The day’s leadership drama changes none of that.

We live in a world where more than a third of your political party can oppose your leadership, and you continue regardless.