How Will The Leadership Challenge To British PM Theresa May Work?

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May

After Wednesday evening's 1922 meeting, one former cabinet minister said some backers of the no-confidence vote had appeared "queasy", adding: "They know they've put something out there and it's going to be shot down".

What Happens During A Confidence Vote?

So far, 174 Tory MPs have publicly said they will vote for her, with 34 publicly against, according to BBC research.

If a so-called "meaningful vote" fails to pass the Brexit deal through the House of Commons, pressure would ramp up on May to call a general election and resign.

James Heappey says he will vote for Theresa May despite a storm of controversy over her Brexit plan.

All Conservative MPs can vote.

If she loses the vote, May must step down and there will be a contest to choose a new Conservative leader.

May promised to seek changes to the agreement and bring it back for a vote before January 21, but the deferral has enraged many MPs who remain convinced she no longer has any credibility on Brexit.

The magic number to win was 159 votes, however, the margin of victory is unlikely to silence her critics and deep divisions over the terms of the UK's departure from the European Union remain. He gave the same answer when asked if she had told her Cabinet colleagues that she meant to stand down before the next election.

If she survives Wednesday's vote, May could still face a further confidence motion in the House of Commons at a later date.

However a significant mutiny could make her leadership untenable.

Conservative leadership contests have two parts.

James Cleverly MP for Braintree and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party said:"Clearly I'm disappointed that some in my party have triggered a vote of no confidence just as the PM is having a series of worldwide meetings to deliver Brexit".

The Prime Minister's decision to delay Tuesday's parliamentary vote on her Brexit plan to avoid an embarrassing defeat for the government sent sterling tumbling by more than 1.3 per cent against the dollar and by nearly one per cent against the euro on the foreign exchanges.

There needed to be 48 MPs calling for her to go - out of 315 Conservative MPs - to trigger a confidence vote and this threshold was reached on Tuesday.

Some Conservative MPs have come out in support of the prime minister. "She is working hard in the interest of the U.K.to get a good Brexit deal and she has my full support".

The Prime Minister said having a leadership election would "not change the fundamentals of the negotiation or the parliamentary arithmetic" and that "tearing ourselves apart will only create more division just as we should be standing together to serve our country". "The PM is working in our national interest and this distraction risks damaging uncertainty".

Michael Gove, secretary of state for environment, said he was backing the prime minister "100% and urged other Tory MPs to "do the same".

With less than four months left until Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, Mrs May's Brexit deal is floundering, opening up prospects that run the gamut from a disorderly no-deal divorce to calling Brexit off.

Backbencher Anna Soubry said it was time for the prime minister to face down hardline Brexiters on the right of her party.

Mrs May said she wants to focus on voters' priorities like the economy, public services and housing, as well as delivering on the referendum vote.

Several past members of May's government - including former foreign minister Boris Johnson - have had their eyes on the premiership post.

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