HARLOW MP Robert Halfon has vowed to back the Prime Minister Theresa May as she faces a “Vote of Confidence” tonight (Wednesday).
Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the powerful 1922 committee, emerged this morning to announce the threshold of 48 letters had been ‘exceeded’ triggering a vote tonight.
Theresa May vowed to fight with ‘everything I’ve got’ and said she would not give up after Eurosceptics secured the 48 letters from MPs needed to force a ballot that could end her time as leader.
In a defiant speech on the steps of Downing Street, she warned Brexit would need to be delayed beyond March 29 if she loses and Jeremy Corbyn might end up in power.
‘I have devoted myself unsparingly since I became Prime Minister… and I stand ready to finish the job,’ she said.
‘A change of leadership in the Conservative party now will put our country’s future at risk, and create uncertainty when we can least afford it.
‘The new leader wouldn’t have time to renegotiate a new Withdrawal Agreement and get the legislation through parliament by March 29, so one of their first acts would have to be extending or rescinding Article 50, delaying or even stopping Brexit when people want us to get on with it.’
Mr Halfon went on social media to pledge his support
He said: “I will be backing Prime Minister Theresa May in this evening’s No Confidence 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 social justice agenda for our country”.
Cabinet ministers immediately rallied to try and shore up Mrs May, with Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Michael Gove, Amber Rudd, Penny Mordaunt and Brandon Lewis among those making clear they will be support her.
But as the Tories plunged into outright civil war, veteran MP Sir Bernard Jenkin declared that he will be voting to get Mrs May out.
Senior backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg said the premier’s Brexit plan would ‘bring down the government if carried forward’ and the party ‘will 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,’ he said.
Mrs May – who has cancelled a planned visit to Ireland and a Cabinet meeting this afternoon – can stay on if she wins the confidence ballot by just one vote, and would theoretically be immune from challenge for another 12 months.
But in reality anything short of a handsome victory will make it almost impossible for her to cling on, with rebels saying she must go if she is opposed by more than 80 MPs.
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