Friday, 06 December, 2019
Embattled UK PM vows to fight challenge to her leadership

Embattled UK PM vows to fight challenge to her leadership

Theresa May has vowed to fight a challenge to her leadership after a vote of confidence in the embattled prime minister was announced in the British parliament. 

“I will contest that vote with everything I’ve got,” May said outside her Downing Street residence on Wednesday. “I stand ready to finish the job.”

Under Conservative rules, at least 48 letters from MPs must be sent to Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers, to trigger a vote of no confidence.

That threshold was exceeded on Wednesday morning and the vote over May’s fate will take place in the evening.

May said that the move will harm the future of the country and throw into disarray the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

“A change of leadership in the Conservative party now would put our country’s future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it.”

In addition, as removing and replacing the prime minister would take weeks, May said that any such move “risks handing control of the Brexit negotiations to opposition MPs in parliament.”

“The new leader wouldn’t have time to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement and get the legislation through parliament by 29 March, so one of their first acts would have to be extending or rescinding article 50, delaying or even stopping Brexit when people want us to get on with it,” she added.

Meanwhile, trade minister Liam Fox and cabinet office minister David Lidington vowed to support May in a vote of confidence.

"I will support the Prime Minister @theresa_may tonight," Fox, a prominent supporter of Brexit, said on Twitter.

"This is a totally inappropriate time to have a contest. The country expects us to provide stability not damaging division."

May has come under harsh criticism over her handling of Brexit and her refusal to allow parliament a vote on her plans to pull the UK out of the European Union.

The prime minister took a tour of European capitals on Tuesday in a bid to secure any type of concession that could give her plans a chance of winning parliament’s approval.

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