British Prime Minister Theresa May will retain her job at least till next year, after she won a confidence vote triggered by 48 Conservative rebel MPs, who hate the Brexit deal she worked out with EU in November.
She won 200-117. 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.
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“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.