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British PM May survives confidence vote

LONDON, December 13, 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May has won a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party by 200 to 117, reported BBC.

After securing 63 per cent of the total vote, she is now immune from a leadership challenge for a year, stated the report.

Speaking in Downing Street, she vowed to deliver the Brexit "people voted for" but said she had listened to the concerns of MPs who voted against her.

Her supporters urged the party to move on but critics said losing the support of a third of MPs was "devastating".

The prime minister won the confidence vote with a majority of 83, with 63 per cent of Conservative MPs backing her and 37 per cent voting against her.

The secret ballot was triggered by 48 of her MPs angry at her Brexit policy, which they say betrays the 2016 referendum result.

Speaking shortly after the result was announced, Mrs May said she would be fighting for changes to her Brexit deal at an EU summit on Thursday.

"I am pleased to have received the backing of my colleagues in tonight's ballot," she said.

"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."

She spoke of a "renewed mission - delivering the Brexit people voted for, bringing the country back together and building a country that really works for everyone".

However, BBC's Laura Kuenssberg said the level of opposition was "not at all comfortable" for the prime minister and a "real blow" to her authority.

Of course her colleagues in govt relieved that she can try to carry on but it's a survival not success tonight - another big knock to the PM's credibility, and no solution at all to the gridlock in Parliament - she's survived, her brexit compromise can't in its current form, she tweeted.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, who led calls for the confidence vote, said losing the support of a third of her MPs was a "terrible result for the prime minister" and called on her to resign.

Brexit-backing Tory MP Mark Francois told the BBC it was "devastating" that more than half of backbenchers not serving in the government had abandoned the prime minister.

"In the cold light of day when people reflect on that number - 117 - it's a massive number, far more than anyone was predicting. I think that will be very sobering for the prime minister. I think she needs to think very carefully about what she does now," she added.




Tags: confidence vote | British PM May |

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