British PM Theresa May wins party’s no-confidence vote
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a vote of no confidence triggered by members of her own party over her handling of Brexit. She won by 200 votes to 117.
The result was met with cheers from MPs as it was announced by Graham Brady, a member of Parliament who leads the 1922 Committee which represents Conservative Party backbench lawmakers in the House of Commons.
Outside Downing Street, May told reporters that it had been a “long and challenging day.”
May said while she was “grateful” for the support, she also acknowledged that a “significant” number of number of MPs from her party voted against her.
“I have listened to what they said,” May said, but added “we now need to get on with the job of delivering Brexit.”
She said she now had a “renewed mission — delivering the Brexit that people voted for, bringing the country back together and building a country that truly works for everyone.”
Voting by secret ballot began at 6 p.m. (1 p.m. ET) Wednesday after May made her final pitch to lawmakers promising them she wouldn’t fight the next general election in 2022.
A pro-May MP told CNN the Prime Minister “got a real grilling, but overall solid support” as she made her case to MPs.
It is a matter of debate as to whether the result of the ballot was a comfortable victory for the Prime Minister, but it does allow her 12 months of breathing space from her own party, because Conservative Party rules state another such vote cannot be held for a year.
Shortly after the announcement, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted: “Huge congrats to Theresa May whose stamina, resilience and decency has again won the day and given her the chance to deliver Brexit for our country.”
Chancellor Philip Hammond also tweeted and said Wednesday night’s result was “the right one.”
“Now is the the time to focus on the future,” he said. “Her deal means we will honor the referendum result while safeguarding jobs and maintaining business confidence.”
However, while May did win a majority by 83 votes, it does reveal that more than a third of Conservative MP’s voted against her as PM.
Jacob Rees-Mogg — who rallied against May — said the result was a “terrible” outcome for May. He added that “she ought to go and see the Queen urgently and resign.”
Speaking outside Parliament, Conservative MP Stephen Crabb said May must now win over MPs who voted against her, which will be “hugely challenging.”
“It seems there isn’t a majority in the House of Commons at the moment for any solution to Brexit — not for a second referendum, not for a Norway-style deal, not for her deal,” Crabb said, according to Britain’s Press Association.
“But Parliament has to say yes to something and she has been given a new mandate to get on and find that something.”
Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said, “Her government is in chaos.”
He added that May “must now bring her dismal deal back to the House of Commons next week so Parliament can take back control.
“Labour is ready to govern for the whole country and deliver a deal that protects living standards and workers’ rights,” Corbyn said.
The problem for May now, however, is that this result does not make the reality of her situation any more palatable.
The biggest challenge she faces is that she is stuck between a UK Parliament that will not vote through her Brexit deal and the European Union, which will not reopen negotiations on that deal.
The confidence vote coincided with May’s whistle-stop tour of Europe where she met with key EU leaders, asking them for help passing her Brexit deal through Parliament.
May was forced to postpone a vote on the deal on Monday when it became clear her bill would face a humiliating defeat.