13/12/2018

PM Theresa May Survives No Confidence Vote

Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a vote of no confidence in her leadership which was held on Wednesday evening, 12 December.

Conservative MPs were balloted on whether or not Mrs May should remain as party leader.

They voted in support of her by 200 votes to 117.

Ahead of the vote, she offered a promise to MPs that she would step down before the next election in a last minute move.

Speaking in Downing Street after the ballot, Mrs May vowed to deliver the Brexit "people voted for", but said she had heard the concerns of those who voted against her.

The PM will now attend the pre-planned EU summit in Brussels on Thursday 13 December to seek legally binding assurances from EU leaders on the backstop, which is the plan to avoid a return to a manned Northern Ireland border.

The EU has said it will not renegotiate the backstop but may agree to greater assurances on its temporary nature.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will also attend the bilateral meeting.
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Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist party has been clear of its stance regarding Mrs May's proposed withdrawal agreement and repeatedly called for renegotiation of the provisions for Northern Ireland, particularly the backstop.

The party currently props up Theresa May's government after she failed to win a majority in the House of Commons.

DUP MP for East Antrim Sammy Wilson said ahead of the vote: "Our Confidence and Supply Agreement is with the Conservative and Unionist party. The current Brexit policy is totally unacceptable to us and the House of Commons. It is entirely a matter for Conservative MPs to decide who their leader is…but the policy must change!"

Alliance party leader Naomi Long expressed a contrasting view, saying she anticipates the Conservatives will vote in support of Theresa May, as no one else is willing to challenge her leadership.

She said: "Theresa May I think will be returned as party leader of the Conservative party tonight, because I think the truth of this is that there is no one else who is willing to step forward who has a better plan than what she has tried to formulate.

"They know, those who advocated for Brexit, that if they're going to take the country of a cliff edge they will be held to account for it."



(JG)

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