12 Dec 18
THERESA May has tonight come to a dark committee corridor to address her MPs before they will vote secretly on whether to boot her out of office.
The Prime Minister pitched to save her job for 40 minutes, telling MPs they have to back her or face no Brexit or a chaotic Jeremy Corbyn government without her in charge.
Theresa May will face her fate at a crunch meeting of MPs later
She arrived just after 5pm to address her party faithful – or not as the case may be – in committee room 14. They banged on the tables to show their support for her as she went in.
And she told them that she will stand down before the next election if they backed her today.
The vote will begin at 6pm, where all MPs will be given a slip of paper containing two statements: “I have confidence in Theresa May as leader of the Conservative party” and “I do not have confidence in Theresa May as leader of the Conservative party”.
The 300 plus Tories will then cast their ballot, and put their papers into a box to be counted.
Here’s the corridor where all the action will happen tonight
The committee room where all the action is going on right now
The PM will make a pitch to stay in No10 and keep her job
Most MPs are in Westminster and aren’t on world trips, so it’s unlikely that many will be able to vote by proxy.
Only MPs that are incredibly sick or have just had a baby will be allowed to nominate another MP to vote on their behalf.
As it stands, the Speaker won’t be able to vote, but his Conservative deputies can.
And two MPs – Charlie Elphicke and Andrew Griffiths will be able to take part in the ballot too after having the whip reinstated.
Sir Graham will take the box with the votes next door into another room and count the slips immediately, with the result expected at around 9pm.
He will be helped in the counting by his two vice chairs, Dame Cheryl Gillian and Charles Walker.
Sir Graham said today the PM was clear it was her “desire to resolve the situation promptly” – which is why the crunch vote will take place tonight.
There was talk that it could have been delayed until she returned from a Brussels summit later this week, but the PM was “keen to move forward as quickly as we could”.
Graham Brady outlined what would happen later tonight, saying he would announce the result at around 9pm
Mrs May will make a last pitch to her MPs to back her tonight
[boxout headline=”Who says they will back Theresa May tonight?” intro=”By Nina Lloyd”]
Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged people to vote for the PM: “I’m voting for the Prime Minister tonight and urge all colleagues to do the same. We should all be focussed on coming together for the sake of the future of the country”
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt also maintains her pro-May stance in public: “The Prime Minister has my full support, not least because she has always done what she firmly believes is in the national interest. Our country needs us all to fight for a good deal and prepare for a no deal senario. All eyes and hands should be on that task.”
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “Of course the Prime Minister will win tonight, she deserves to win.”
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox continues to back the PM on Twitter: “I will support the Prime Minister @theresa_may tonight. This is a totally inappropriate time to have a contest. The country expects us to provide stability not damaging division.”
Ex-home secretary and current Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, who was demoted during the Windrush scandal, publicly claims to be giving her “full support” despite reports that she may stand in a leadership contest: “The PM has my full support. At this critical time we need to support and work with the PM to deliver on leaving the EU, & our domestic agenda – ambitious for improvements to people’s lives & to build on growth of wages & jobs.”
Despite reportedly seeking support for his own bids, Home Secretary Sajid Javid claims he will be backing May tonight: “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 begged colleagues today: “Don’t take the risk and back Theresa May tonight.”
Education Secretary Damian Hinds says “let’s get behind May”.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The Prime Minister has my full support. She works relentlessly hard for our country and is the best person to make sure we leave the EU on 29 March and continue to deliver our domestic agenda.”
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: “Now is not the time for distractions and uncertainty”.
Tory party Deputy Chairman James Clevery expressed “disappointment” on Twitter at those who triggered the vote
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said: “I am giving my full support to @theresa_may who has always put the national interest first. We need to honour the outcome of the referendum and support the PM to deliver Brexit on 29 March 2019.”
Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami also voiced his decision to vote for May on Twitter.
Chairman of the party Brandon Lewis said: “I fully back our Prime Minister. We have the right Leader of our Party, we have a duty to deliver for our country & I hope all my colleagues will join me & support @theresa_may to deliver for UK.”
Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman said: “Tonight I’ll vote to support Theresa May, the most steadfast, resilient Prime Minister – today the country deserves better than a self-involved Conservative Party.”
Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said: “I fully support the PM. The PM is working in our national interest and this distraction risks damaging uncertainty.”
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said: “I shall be supporting the prime minister this evening. This is no time for the self-indulgent spasm of a leadership election. Nothing fundamental will be altered by it.”
Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan said: “For the sake of country, Government and Party I urge all my fellow Conservative MPs to vote for Theresa May this evening. Changing the PM at this critical moment in history would be a massive mistake. Stick with her and let’s see it through!”
Harlow MP Robert Halfon said: “I Will be backing Prime Minister @theresa_may in this evening’s #NoConfidence vote. The country faces great uncertainty, now is not the time to make it worse. My one ask of PM is to genuinely and passionately reboot #socialjustice agenda for our country.”
Minister of State at the Justice Department, Rory Stewart said: “Theresa May continues to work with immense integrity to avoid the polarising dangers of no-deal/no-Brexit. And I will of course be voting for her tonight.”
Minister of State for Health, Stephen Hammond said: “I will be supporting the Prime Minister in tonight’s confidence vote. This is about the national interest not personalities and naked ambition.”
Winchester and Chandler’s Ford MP Steve Brine said: “I will be supporting the Prime Minister in tonight’s confidence vote. This is about the national interest not personalities and naked ambition. Theresa May has the most difficult job imaginable and I think, whatever your view of Brexit, this is a time to stand together.”
Aylesbury MP David Lidington said: “MPs should hold their nose and vote for May’s deal”
Leo Docherty, MP for Aldershot, called May “tenacious” earlier today and says she has his full support
Claire Perry, MP for Devizes, quipped: “I’m rooting for Big Dog Theresa!”
Wendy Morton, MP for Aldridge-Brownhills, said this morning she will be backing the PM
Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel and South Downs, says he will “certainly” vote for Theresa May
Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “I will be supporting @theresa_may tonight. A leadership contest is a distraction and doesn’t change the maths in Parliament. We should be focused on delivering a good deal and leaving the EU in March.”
Ochil and South Perthshire MP Luke Graham said: “Just out of PMQs and it is clear why need to focus on delivering for our constituents & country and not on a leadership election. Labour have no alternative, the SNP want to deny the result of another referendum – I won’t be distracted @ScotTories”.
Digital Minister Margot James said: “No one could have done a better job leading the Brexit negotiations, PM has my full support of course and we need her to stay on, could not disagree more with the Conservative MPs trying to force her out”.
Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones said: “I’m backing the Prime Minister tonight.Selecting a replacement would give us no time to do the final Brexit leg. V little time to re-negotiate. And no one coming in would change the dynamic in Parliament. I want to deliver Brexit, changing would play into the hands of second Ref.”
MP for Harrogate Andrew Jones said: “Andrew Jones MP Verified account @AJonesMP 5h5 hours ago More I will be supporting the PM in tonight’s confidence vote. The PM has shown determined and resilient leadership. We are in complex and difficult negotiations and in the middle of that we do not need further instability. I hope and expect the PM will win and win well.”
PPS Seema Kennedy said: “@theresa_may is the right person to lead our great country through these challenging times. She has my unqualified support.”
MP for Stirling Greg Knight says it would be a “monumental mistake” to change Prime Minister
Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher said: “I’ll be voting for the Prime Minister in the ballot tonight. We need to let her get on with a solution to the backstop and finish the job.”
Eddisbury MP Antoinnette Sandbach said she thought the leadership election would be “pointless naval-gazing forced by a minority of Conservative MPs”.
Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely described the vote as one step towards a “Judy Garland Brexit – i.e. one that’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.
Reading MP Alok Sharma called the vote “complete unnecessary indulgence”
Small business minister MP Kelly Tolhurst said: “I am fully supporting the Prime Minister @theresa_may tonight. She is doing the most difficult job at a crucial time for our country. To even consider changing our leader at this time is totally wrong & not in the best interest of our country. We need to deliver Brexit”.
Clacton MP Giles Watling said: “It’s not a good time to change horses when in sight of the winning post with one jump to go! She’s been steering the ship of state through some very heavy seas, showing incredible resilience. Another leader would only have to face the same issues. My vote is for May.”
Berwickshire MP John Lamont said he was “delighted to confirm his support for the Prime Minister tonight”
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: “The PM has my full support. Brexit was never going to be easy and we need to back her to deliver on that and our domestic programme. Being PM is a phenomenally difficult job and she is the best person for it.”
Pensions Minister Guy Opperman announced he would back May earlier today describing the leadership contest as “self-indulgent and wrong”
Tiverton and Horton MP Neil Parish said: “I will be backing @theresa_may this evening. She has a tough job and should be given the opportunity to get her #Brexit deal over the line.”
Rugby MP announced his support for May in PMQs earlier today
MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, David Morris said: “We are currently in one of the most important periods in our country’s modern history. This is an unwelcome distraction and I will be supporting the Prime Minister this evening.”
MP for South Suffolk James Cartlidge said: “I will be voting for the Prime Minister in the ballot this evening. I know that some colleagues and members of my local association have deep reservations about the backstop and withdrawal agreement, but further destabilisation at this moment is the last thing we need.”
West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin said: “Now is not the time to change leader. I shall be supporting the PM wholeheartedly.”
Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, says she will also back May and has been “inundated with messages of support from consituents” for the PM
Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, says PM “deserves our full support”
Huw Merriman MP for Bexhill and Battleworth says he will vote in favour of the PM with “scores of emails” coming through from constituents supporting her.
Carol Dinenage, MP for Gosport, backed the PM on Twitter saying “the last thing [we] need is another distraction”
Patrick, McLoughlin MP for Derbyshire Dales, said: “I have every confidence in our Prime Minister and I will be supporting her tonight.”
David Mundell, Scotland Secretary & MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, said: “PM has my full support. A leadership contest is the last thing we need. The public want us to sort #Brexit now!”
Alec Shelbrooke, MP for Elmet & Rothwell, said May had been working “hard” and he would support her tonight
Faversham and Mid Kent MP Helen Whateley said: “I’m frustrated that the Prime Minister has had to cancel going to Dublin for negotiations in order to defend her leadership. We need to move forwards not backwards, look outwards not inwards. I will be voting for @theresa_may this evening.”
MP for Totnes Sarah Wollaston said: “I hope the ERG (European Research Group, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg) lose badly and we can see the back of their pompous threats for a year.”
MP for Thurrock Jackie Doyle-Price said: “For dedication to public service this prime minister has no equal. I will be supporting Theresa May tonight.”
Minister of State for Security Ben Wallace said: “I shall be supporting my PM today. At a time when security in the world is being tested I know more than most how well Theresa May has dealt with real threats to our citizens.”
Gary Streeter, MP for Southwest Devon, said: “I will be backing Theresa May today. This is not the time for a challenge. Hopefully she will win and we can press on to deliver the Brexit, sensible Brexit, that my constituents voted for.”
Sarah Newton, MP for Truro & Falmouth, has announced her support of May, saying: “changing leaders doesn’t change the fact that Parliament needs to deliver what the majority said we would do – the best possible Brexit.”
Former whip Mims Davies, MP for Eastleigh, described May’s efforts as “tireless” and said: “So many messages coming in support of PM -can’t help but feel such great IRONY we’re now into a #ToryMPsReVote I want to deliver on the once in a generation vote on EU referendum.”
Nick Gibb, MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, says May has his “absolute confidence”
Anna Soubry, MP for Broxtowe, today retweeted an interview in which she claims it would be “entirely wrong” to change the PM now.
Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, says she is backing May and that the vote is a “distraction.”
Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire, said: “I will be supporting the Prime Minister in tonight’s confidence vote. She has done her best in unprecedented circumstances, showing huge resilience and determination. Let’s have the vote, move on and deliver on the will of the majority. #Brexit”
Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, said: “I’ve now spoken to my local @Conservatives party, chairman and many councillors and the view is clear – the numbers in Parliament won’t change and March is fast approaching. I’m backing @theresa_may.”
Craig Whittaker, MP for Calder Valley, says he will “work tirelessly to support” Mrs May today
Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh has announced: “I was not one of the Conservative MPs who submitted a letter of no confidence in Theresa May”
Mel Stride, MP for Central Devon and Financial Secretary to the Treasury, earlier today announced his support for May on Twitter, saying: “time to put our country first and get the deal done”
Mary Robinson, MP for Cheadle, said: “For the avoidance of doubt, I will be supporting the PM tonight. We are less than four months away from leaving the EU and our country requires certainty. This is the UK’s future, more important than one Party.”
Vicky Ford, MP for Chelmsford, said she would be voting for May, saying: “I am very boring and very conservative. I don’t think the country needs the added uncertainty of a change of PM at this time.”
Alex Chalk, MP for Cheltenham, said: “A leadership contest is the last thing we need. I’ll be supporting the PM this evening.”
MP for Cannock Chase Amanda Milling said: “I fully back The Prime Minister Theresa May and I will be supporting her in tonight’s vote.”
MP for North Devon, Peter Heaton-Jones said: Theresa May has my full support. To change our leader and prime minister at this crucial time would be wrong for the party and, more importantly, for the country. Yes, I am loyal, and I wear that badge with pride.
Gillian Keegan, MP for Chichester, said: Yes I will be supporting the PM as we need to focus on getting the right outcome for the country… This is a distraction in my view.”
MP for Maidstone and The Weald Helen Grant said: “Very strong performance from our Prime Minister Theresa May at PMQs, her resilience and sense of duty once again coming to the fore. She is undoubtedly the person to ensure Brexit is delivered in the national interest and we must allow her to finish the job.”
MP for Somerton and Frome David Warburton said: “This evening I will be giving Theresa May my full and complete support to continue her efforts for the country. The national interest is not served by dangerous and damaging self-indulgence.”
MP for Brentwood & Ongar Alex Burghart said: “I shall be supporting the prime minister in the vote on her leadership tonight.”
Thornbury and Yate MP Luke Hall also showed support for May on Twitter: “I will be supporting the Prime Minister. She is focusing on delivering Brexit and has a plan to leave the EU on 29 March. This is an unnecessary distraction and I look forward to @theresa_may refreshing her mandate later today”.
Business Minister Richard Harrington said: “The Prime Minister @theresa_may has my full support. I have always said that she is the best person for the country and the Conservative Party. Her deal with the EU is what we need to protect jobs, security and the economy. Tonight I will be backing her.”
PPS Simon Hoare said: “In case there is any doubt @theresa_may has my full support. I look aghast at some peoples’ behaviour. Self indulgent. The general public will think the Party has gone mad. I’m appalled by the antics of some”.
Sherwood MP Mark Spencer said: “I will be supporting the Prime Minister tonight in the 1922 ballot. To indulge in a leadership contest now is completely wrong”.
South West Wiltshire MP Andrew Murrison said he would be supporting Mrs May “no question”
Parliamentary Under-Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “I am backing @theresa_may tonight. We do not need further instability and division. Colleagues need to think of the National interest.”
Ahead of his appearance on BBC Radio 4 earlier today, South West Hertfordshire Justice Secretary David Gauke said: “Just about to appear on @BBCr4today. Theresa May will have my full support. Removing her would be self indulgent and irresponsible.”
Grantham MP Nick Boles said: “The hardliners from the ERG have launched this challenge to Theresa May’s leadership to increase the chances of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal during the chaos. It is grossly irresponsible and colleagues should have no truck with it.”
Mid Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddlestone said: “I shall be backing the Prime Minister @theresa_may in the vote this evening. She is an honourable public servant who has served her country with great dignity. A leadership contest now would be a complete distraction.”
Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “The PM has shown astonishing courage and resilience over many months in the most difficult possible circumstances. I will be supporting her without hesitation this evening. A leadership election would be utter folly.”
To which Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, said: “Amen to that”.
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland told those planning to vote against May to “stop the shenanigans” earlier today
Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy said: “The Prime Minister has my full support in these difficult times for our country.”
MP for North West Hants Kit Malthouse claimed he was voting for Theresa May on Twitter earlier today
Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan said: “I’ve been clear for months that now isn’t the time for the Conservatives to indulge in an ERG-led leadership contest. I will vote for @theresa_may tonight – but it’s also clear there has to be a full debate about tie Conservatives leadership & direction well before next election”.
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson said: “The PM has been relentless in seeking to deliver Brexit, with Parliamentary numbers stacked to try to frustrate, delay & block. She has remained focused, determined & courteous throughout. I will be 100% backing the PM”.
Henley MP John Howell said: “I have been asked how I will vote tonight. I will vote for the Prime Minister. We must let her complete the task she has started. This is not the moment for change”.
West Aberdeenshire MP Andrew Bowie said: “This party has always been at its best when moderate, mainstream, compassionate & governing in the national interest. That’s the party I joined & am proud to represent. And in @theresa_may I’m proud to have a leader that shares those values. She has my full and unwavering support”.
MP for Meriden Dame Caroline Spelman said: “The vast majority of constituents contacting my office are calling for me to support the PM in this evening’s confidence vote. I will absolutely be backing Mrs May.”
Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City minister John Glen: said: “Now is not the time for leadership challenges – it is time to support the PM as she seeks to secure the best possible deal to honour the outcome of the referendum and safeguard jobs in this country. The PM has proved her resilience and she will do so again today.”
MP for Angus Kirstene Hair said: I will be supporting the prime minister Theresa May this evening – she is a true public servant who has the national interest at the forefront of everything she does.
South East Cambridgeshire MP Lucy Frazer said: “I support the Prime Minister. Now is not the time for a leadership contest. Now is the time to focus on our critical negotiation with the EU.”
Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom said: “Vital to support @theresa_may today. She is working hard in the interest of the U.K. to get a good Brexit deal and she has my full support.”
MP for North East Hertfordshire Sir Oliver Heald said: “I am supporting the prime minister tonight.”
Michelle Donelan, MP for Chippenham, also called the vote a “distraction” on Twitter and said she would be voting for May
Chris Heaton-Harris, MP for Daventry, said: “Tonight I’ll be supporting the Prime Minister in the 1922 ballot.”
MP for Thirsk, Malton & Filey, Kevin Hollinrake said: “100% supporting the PM in tonight’s vote. So easy to criticise from the sidelines but no other deal delivers on pre-referendum promises of frictionless trade, end to free movement, no EU budget contribution, Independent trade deals and no hard border in NI.”
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “I admire the grit and determination the Prime Minister has shown and I strongly support her. The last thing businesses across our country need at this crucial time is even more uncertainty. I hope all my colleagues will join me & back Theresa May.”
South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen said: “Utterly dismayed at the sheer indulgence being shown by some of my parliamentary colleagues at this time of National crisis. Quite why they think a change in leader is the right course of action is beyond me.”
Milton Keynes North MP Mark Lancaster said: “I will be backing @theresa_may tonight. The last thing the country needs ahead of our departure from the EU on the 29th March is a long leadership contest.”
Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said: “Will be supporting PM Theresa May in the vote tonight. The country will not understand how elements in the Conservative Party can seek a divisive leadership contest at this time. PMs sense of respect for both sides of Referendum debate deserves support.”
Brexit minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “I am supporting the Prime Minister Theresa May tonight. The Prime Minister continues to work in the national interest and we all need to support her at this critical time.”
Exchequer Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I will be supporting Theresa May this evening. My priority is to ensure we leave the EU on 29 March. A leadership contest now puts that at risk.
Saffron Walden MP Kemi Badenock went to great lengths to encourage support for May, saying: “I am supporting the Prime Minister at this critical juncture in the future of our country. As someone who voted Leave, this is the worst possible time to have a leadership election.”
MP for South Leicestershire Alberto Costa said: “I hope my colleagues will back the PM Theresa May. At this critical moment in our country’s future, it is right that we come together as one Team Conservative, respect the EU referendum result and deliver a new relationship with our western European allies.
MP for Windsor Adam Afriyie said: “I’ll be supporting the PM tonight. It’s a tough job, the toughest possible right now, and she has my full support in securing our departure from the EU.”
Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said: “Back the PM. This is a complete, self serving and disloyal distraction at a critical time for the government. I came into politics to solve problems – not add to them.”
Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow said: “Now is not the time to change leader. I will be supporting the PM. Consensus from my constituency is also calling for this.”
MP for Weston, Worle and the Villages John Penrose said: “Before everyone asks, I’m supporting the PM in the vote today. We’ve got to focus on getting the right Brexit deal for the country. Anything else is a distraction.”
MP for North East Hertfordshire Sir Oliver Heald said: “I am supporting the prime minister tonight.”
MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale David Morris said: “We are currently in one of the most important periods in our country’s modern history. This is an unwelcome distraction and I will be supporting the Prime Minister this evening.”
Havant MP Alan Mak said: “Prime Minister @Theresa_May has my support and I will be voting for her tonight at this crucial period for our country.”
Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park MP Paul Scully said: “I’ll be supporting the PM today. The light at the tunnel that some people are seeing is a train coming fast the other way #focusonthecountry”
Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner MP Nick Hurd said the PM has his “full support”
Solihull MP Julian Knight said: “I will be supporting the Prime Minister, delivering on brexit is in our grasp this vote is a distraction #iambackingthepm”
Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore said: “107 days until we leave the EU. The PM has worked unbelievably hard to deliver a deal that reflects the nature of the referendum result, she deserves immense credit and our support. Will be backing her completely. Those contemplating otherwise, just think how bad this looks”.
West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin said: “What a ridiculous moment to choose to challenge @10DowningStreet – Theresa May has been working flat out to secure the best possible deal and will have my vote again this evening #TM4PM”
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I will support the Prime Minister @theresa_may tonight. A leadership contest is a distraction and doesn’t change the maths in Parliament. We should be focused on delivering on the British people’s decision to leave the EU.”
Wells MP James Heappey said: “I’ll be supporting the PM tonight. Changing our leader right now would be an act of utter self-indulgence & it wouldn’t change anything on Brexit.”
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss, said : “I fully support the Prime Minister and believe it would be completely wrong to have a leadership election now. She is the right person to deliver Brexit and has shown herself to be strong and determined.”
MP for Gloucester Richard Graham said: “The leadership challenge combines crass timing and deep irresponsibility. I will support the PM.”
Newbury MP Richard Benyon tweeted his support earlier today: “I will be supporting the PM”
Rossendale MP Jake Berry tweeted that he was “100% behind the PM” earlier today
Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley announced via Facebook that May would have her support this evening
Gordon MP Colin Clark said: “This is not the time for an upheaval. I will be supporting our Prime Minister @theresa_may in the #NoConfidence vote tonight”.
Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said: “I will be supporting @theresa_may to continue as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister in today’s vote”.
Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly said: “I shall be voting for the PM this evening. Given the ongoing EU negotiations I see the timing of this confidence vote to be all of ill advised, self indulgent and contrary to the national interest.”
Northampton North MP Michael Ellis said: “I am backing @theresa_may tonight as I have done for many years. She is hardworking, courageous, diligent and dutiful. The country does not want a damaging and lengthy leadership contest. A change in leadership now is not in the national interest and would jeopardise Brexit.”
Mid Sussex MP Nicholas Soames said: “I shall support the Prime Minister in the Vote of Confidence tonight against this idiotic challenge at such a desperately serious time for the Country #manupgrowupgetrealdoourduty”
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The PM had told him that “continuing speculation” about the leadership wasn’t helpful.
The decision was taken at 9.30pm last night, when Sir Graham spoke to the PM, he said.
They decided to make the no confidence vote known this morning before the markets opened.
Sir Graham said that if Mrs May lost the vote then a leadership election would be arranged “rapidly”.
Two or three rounds of voting among MPs would kick off “as swiftly as possible”, with the first vote possibly by next Tuesday.
There could be votes every day until the number is whittled down to two – those would then be put to the Tory members.
Sir Graham said he hoped the first part of the process would be done before the Christmas recess, and members would vote in the following days.
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