Theresa May To Stay On As Prime Minister After Winning Confidence Vote
Tory MPs have backed Theresa May to stay after a no confidence vote was triggered, which closed at 8pm before the results were announced shortly after.
The PM won the confidence ballot by Conservative MPs by 200 to 117 votes, with a majority of 83.
She has, however, announced she will step down after Brexit in an emotional last-minute appeal to MPs, teling them she will not lead the party into the next scheduled election in 2022 - but does want to stay on to deliver her Brexit deal.
In the lead-up to this evening's vote, May was firm that she stood 'ready to finish the job' and was contesting the vote 'with everything I have got' - explaining that she believed the introduction of a new prime minister would mean scrapping or extending Article 50 and therefore 'delaying or even stopping Brexit'.
In her statement before the vote took place, which was delivered early this morning, she said: "A leadership election would not change the fundamentals of the negotiation or the Parliamentary arithmetic.
"Weeks spent tearing ourselves apart will only create more division just as we should be standing together to serve our country. None of that would be in the national interest."
May continued to say she was making headway in her talks with EU leaders, and promised to 'deliver on the referendum vote and seize the opportunities that lie ahead'.
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She also said the Conservatives had to deliver 'the Brexit people voted for' and build a 'country that works for everyone'.
"I have devoted myself unsparingly to these tasks ever since I became prime minister and I stand ready to finish the job," she added.
While the BBC reports that 34 Toy MPs were publicly against May, a majority said they would back the prime minister.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said May was 'the best person to make sure we actually leave the EU on March 29'.
Chancellor Philip Hammond also argued the vote would 'flush out the extremists'.
If she hadn't won the vote, there would have been a Conservative leadership contest in which she could not stand, but because she did win, she cannot be challenged as Conservative leader for at least another year.
Had she not won by such a large margin, she could have decided to stand down as party leader, triggering a leadership contest that she would be unable to stand in.
Featured Image Credit: PA