Prime Minister Theresa May will face a vote over her future on Wednesday night after 48 Conservative MPs signed letters of no confidence. May says she will fight “with everything I have got”, and sources report 158 MPs have publicly backed her.
Only Tory MPs are allowed to vote on Wednesday evening, which will be a secret ballot. They have 315 seats, which means that the PM needs 158 votes to remain in charge, and should she win, she cannot be contested for another year.
So far, 158 MPs have publicly backed her according to sources, but as it is a secret ballot, those who say they support her may not vote that way.
May has warned that any new Prime Minister would had a tough job, and would be faced with the choice of “delaying or even stopping Brexit”. She said they would have no chance to renegotiate anything in time for the deadline of 29th March 2019 when the UK will leave the EU.
Downing Street has hinted that Theresa May could step down before the next General Elections anyway, leading some to believe that the PM is using this tactic to help win the immediate vote. A statement from Number 10 said: “This vote isn’t about who leads us into the next election, it’s about whether it makes sense to change leader during the Brexit negotiations”.
Timeline of Wednesday
7:06am – Owen Paterson becomes the 48th MP to send a letter of no confidence to the 1922 committee, triggering a vote on Theresa May’s future.
9:30am – Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing Street saying she will fight “with everything I have got”.
9:30am-5:00pm – May and her whips will call around to try and get as many MPs as possible to vote in her favour.
5:00pm – The Prime Minister will speak directly to 1922 committee members before the vote takes place.
6:00-8:00pm – The secret ballot will be held, where all Conservative MPs are encouraged to vote on their leader’s future.
9:00pm – The head of the 1922 committee will tell the PM the outcome of the vote, before telling the press.