Tory MPs trigger vote of no confidence in Theresa May

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Theresa May will face a vote of no confidence from Conservative MPs after the threshold of letters needed to trigger a contest was exceeded.

Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, said the threshold of 48 letters – 15% of the parliamentary party – needed to trigger a vote has been reached and a ballot will be held between 6pm and 8pm on Wednesday evening in the House of Commons.

He added in a statement: “The votes will be counted immediately afterwards and the result will be announced as soon as possible in the evening.”

There were reports on Tuesday of a wave of new letters amid anger at the way Mrs May dramatically put on hold the crunch Commons vote on her Brexit deal after admitting she was heading for a heavy defeat.

Speculation that a challenge could be imminent was fuelled after chief whip Julian Smith and Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis were seen leaving No 10 following late-night consultations on Tuesday.

Mrs May is expected to make a statement outside Downing Street later this morning.

In a joint statement, the chairman of the pro-Brexit Conservative European Research Group Jacob Rees-Mogg and his deputy Steve Baker said: “Theresa May’s plan would bring down the Government if carried forward. But our party will rightly not tolerate it.

“Conservatives must now answer whether they wish to draw ever closer to an election under Mrs May’s leadership. In the national interest, she must go.”

Several Cabinet minister quickly rallied round Mrs May following news of the vote, including the foreign secretary and the chancellor.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted that he was backing Mrs May to stay in the job, while Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said MPs “need to support and work with the PM”.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the contest was “the last thing our country needs right now” and that it would be seen as “self-indulgent and wrong”.

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: “I’m voting for the Prime Minister tonight and urge all colleagues to do the same. We should all be focussed on coming together for the sake of the future of the country.”

And International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, tipped as a possible contender for the leadership, posted: “The Prime Minister has my full support, not least because she has always done what she firmly believes is in the national interest. Our country needs us all to fight for a good deal and prepare for a no deal senario. All eyes and hands should be on that task.”

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Source

World News

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