Theresa May remains as Prime Minister after winning confidence vote

Theresa May has seen off an attempt by rebel backbenchers to oust her as Conservative leader and Prime Minister.

But she sowed the seeds for her eventual departure by telling Tory MPs that she would not lead the party into the next general election, expected in 2022

Prime Minister Theresa May arrives back at 10 Downing Street, London, after Conservative MPs held a vote of confidence in her leadership. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Prime Minister Theresa May arrives back at 10 Downing Street, London, after Conservative MPs held a vote of confidence in her leadership. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The Prime Minister won a confidence vote of the 317 Conservative MPs by a margin of 200 to 117 in a secret ballot at Westminster.

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The vote was triggered by party grandee Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, early on Wednesday after he received letters of no confidence in the PM from at least 15 per cent of the parliamentary party.

In a day of high drama, a defiant Mrs May vowed to fight ‘with everything I've got’ to defend her position, warning that a change in prime minister might mean Brexit being delayed or halted.

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In an early-morning statement outside 10 Downing Street, Mrs May said that securing a Brexit deal which will deliver on the result of the 2016 referendum was "now within our grasp" and said she was "making progress" in securing reassurances from EU leaders on MPs' concerns about the proposed backstop for the Irish border.

Every MP in her Cabinet swiftly issued statements of support and she was greeted by loud cheers from the Tory backbenches when she faced the House of Commons for her weekly session of Prime Minister's Questions.

Addressing assembled MPs at a meeting of the 1922 Committee moments before the crucial vote, Mrs May said that she accepted she could not fight the next election as their leader.

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The result also means thaere cannot be another no confidence vote in Mrs for at least a year.