UK's May Faces No-Confidence Vote 12/12 06:13
British politics was thrown into chaos and Brexit into doubt Wednesday as
Conservative lawmakers triggered a no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Theresa
May that will see her removed as party and government leader if she loses.
LONDON (AP) -- British politics was thrown into chaos and Brexit into doubt
Wednesday as Conservative lawmakers triggered a no-confidence vote in Prime
Minister Theresa May that will see her removed as party and government leader
if she loses.
May vowed to fight the challenge "with everything I've got," after Graham
Brady, who heads a committee overseeing Conservative leadership contests, said
he had received letters from at least 48 lawmakers asking for a vote.
As a result, he said, "the threshold of 15 percent of the parliamentary
party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has
Brady said the vote would be held in Parliament between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
(1800GMT and 2000GMT) on Wednesday evening, with the results announced soon
The announcement throws Britain's already rocky path out of the European
Union, which it is due to leave in March, into further chaos.
Many Tory lawmakers have been growing angry with May over her handling of
Brexit, and the challenge comes days after she postponed a vote to approve a
divorce deal with the EU to avoid all-but-certain defeat.
If she loses the confidence vote, May must step down and there will be a
contest to choose a new leader. She will remain leader, and prime minister,
until the successor is picked. If she wins, she can't be challenged again for a
In a defiant statement outside 10 Downing St., May said "a change of
leadership in the Conservative Party now will put our country's future at
risk." She said ousting her and holding a leadership vote --- a process that
could take weeks --- could result in Brexit being delayed or even stopped.
May canceled a trip to Dublin to meet Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, to
stay in London and battle for lawmakers' support.
Many supporters of Brexit say May's deal fails to deliver on the clean break
with the bloc that they want.
Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson accused May of acting like a
"supplicant" in dealings with the EU.
"She's not the person to see Brexit through," he said.
Leading pro-Brexit legislators Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker said in a
joint statement that "in the national interest, she must go."
But Cabinet colleagues rallied to May's support. Home Secretary Sajid Javid
tweeted that a leadership contest, with Brexit little more than three months
away, "will be seen as self-indulgent and wrong. PM has my full support and is
best person to ensure we leave EU on 29 March."
Justice Secretary David Gauke said: "I think it's vital for the country that
she wins tonight."
He said that if May lost, "I don't think we will be leaving the European
Union on the 29th of March."