Bookmakers predict Theresa May will survive no confidence vote

Friendly terms President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker greets Theresa May at the start of the two-day EU summit in Brussels

She will remain leader, and prime minister, until the successor is picked.

Mrs May pledged to fight against the vote as she issued a defiant statement this morning on the steps of Downing Street.

May cancelled a Wednesday (Thursday NZT) trip to Dublin to meet Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar so she could stay in London and battle for lawmakers' support.

The announcement came after Brexiteer Tories, who had to date held back from submitting letters calling for a confidence vote, broke cover in anger at the shelving of the vote on the Brexit deal.

Removing her as prime minister will not change anything except delay Brexit or halt Brexit, she said.

The vote took place this evening, and was triggered after Sir Graham.

With only hours remaining for Mrs May to shore up the 158 votes she needs to remain as leader, bookmakers William Hill said they were taking no more bets on the ballot.

If the PM loses the vote, she would not be able to stand in the subsequent leadership contest.

Mr Paterson said he had "not found it at all easy" writing and submitting his letter, but said: "I just I'm afraid think she's no longer the right person to lead us through this hard period".

"The only way out of this mess is for the PM to show real leadership by calling a People's Vote, and letting the public choose between this Brexit chaos and uncertainty or stability under the best deal we already have as a member of the European Union".

The final two candidates are put to a vote of the full party membership across the country.

Having lost her parliamentary majority in last year's snap election, May is propped up in power by the DUP's 10 MPs.

But her spokesman was keen to stress: "This vote isn't about who leads the party into the next election, it's about whether it makes sense to change leader at this point in the Brexit negotiations".

Just before the vote May revealed she was prepared to bow out as prime minister by not contesting the next general election in a move created to buy her time to complete the Brexit plans.

A vote on the deal she negotiated with Brussels was shelved this week as she admitted she did not have the votes to get the deal through Parliament, leading to lawmakers from all sides ramping up its criticism of May's handling of Brexit.

A loud cheer erupted among MPs, as chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, announced: "The result of the ballot held this evening is that the parliamentary party does have confidence in Theresa May" - and confirmed that she could not now be challenged for another year.

Mrs May say Wednesday morning that removing her as party leader could result in "extending or rescinding Article 50 - delaying, or even stopping Brexit when people want us to get on with it".

The PM thought she had seen off an attempt by this group of Brexiteers to get rid of her last month. But she could chose to resign if she wins support by a low margin.

She was forced to postpone this week's vote in the House of Commons on the text after admitting she faced a huge defeat, as her own MPs joined with opposition parties to reject it.

Mrs May will address Conservative MPs at a meeting of the 1922 Committee at 5pm, immediately before voting begins.

But Cabinet colleagues rallied to May's support.

Moments after news of the vote was announced, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted: "I am backing @theresa_may tonight".

The British parliament will get its vote before January 21, May's spokeswoman said.

Prospective leadership contenders are former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, home secretary Sajid Javid, and global development secretary Penny Mordaunt.

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