Theresa May sees off no-confidence vote amid soaring Brexit discontent

Theresa May sees off no-confidence vote amid soaring Brexit discontent
2 min read
12 December, 2018
The UK prime minister defied the no-confidence vote triggered post by her own party.
Theresa May has won the no confidence vote [Getty]
British Prime Minister Theresa May has defied a no-confidence vote Wednesday evening after MPs in her own Conservative party tried to remove her from office over her unpopular Brexit deal.

May faced a vote of no confidence on Wednesday, sparked by MPs from the anti-EU wing of her Conservative party, plunging her into her biggest crisis since taking office after the 2016 Brexit vote.

She won the support of Conservative MPs by a vote of 200-117.

Shortly before the no-confidence vote took place, May announced that she would not be standing for prime minister in the next general election.

Many of her cabinet ministers and other MPs were quick to support her, however, and pound rose amid reports that enough had already declared their backing for her to win.

In a defiant statement in Downing Street, May said she would contest the vote "with everything I've got".

She warned that her ousting would spark a leadership contest that would leave the terms of Britain's departure from the European Union for weeks, even as Brexit looms on March 29 next year.

"Weeks spent tearing ourselves apart will only create more divisions," May said, adding: "I stand ready to finish the job."

Addressing the House of Commons later, she said a contest to replace her "would mean either delaying or stopping Brexit".

Within minutes of the news being announced on Wednesday morning, a clutch of senior ministers rallied to May's support - including many who might succeed her.

"The last thing our country needs right now is a Conservative party leadership election," tweeted Home Secretary Sajid Javid, tipped as a future leader.

Agencies contributed to this report.