Tory MPs have requested a vote of no confidence in Theresa May which could trigger a leadership contest. Sir Graham Brady said the threshold of 48 letters – 15 percent of the parliamentary party – needed to trigger the vote has been reached. The vote will be held between 6pm and 8pm in the House of Commons and the result announced this evening.
Who is backing Theresa May?
Many MPs have come out in support of Theresa May, including a string of Cabinet ministers.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The last thing our country needs right now is a Conservative Party leadership election.
“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.”
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “I am backing Theresa May tonight. Being PM (is the) most difficult job imaginable right now and the last thing the country needs is a damaging and long leadership contest.
“Brexit was never going to be easy but she is the best person to make sure we actually leave the EU on March 29.”
Even Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who is seen as a possible leadership contender if Mrs May does not get enough votes, has backed the prime minister.
In a tweet Mr Gove said: “I am backing the Prime Minister 100% – and I urge every Conservative MP to do the same. She is battling hard for our country and no-one is better placed to ensure we deliver on the British people’s decision to leave the EU.”
Other voicing support for the PM included Chancellor Philip Hammond, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Justice Secretary David Gauke, Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire.
Who is against Theresa May?
Chairman of the European Research Group of Eurosceptic Tory backbenchers Jacob Rees-Mogg and his deputy Steve Baker have spoken out against Mrs May and her Withdrawal agreement deal.
In a joint statement they said: “Theresa May’s plan would bring down the Government if carried forward. But our party will rightly not tolerate it.
“Conservatives must now answer whether they wish to draw ever closer to an election under Mrs May’s leadership. In the national interest, she must go.”
A vote of no confidence sonly triggered when the chair of the 1922 Committee – Sir Graham Brady – receives 48 letters of no confidence.
So far 29 MPs have come out in public who have said they have submitted letters.
A wave of new letters were submitted to Sir Graham amid anger at Mrs May’s dramatic decision on Monday to put on hold the crunch Commons vote on her Brexit deal after admitting she was heading for a heavy defeat.
Former cabinet minister Owen Paterson was the latest MP to declare he had submitted a letter to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee.
If Mrs Mays loses the no confidence vote, she will not be able to stand in the leadership battle.