PM Theresa May wins ‘confidence’ vote in British Parliament

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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on December 12, 2018 ahead of the weekly question and answer session, Prime Ministers Questions (PMQs), in the House of Commons. – British Prime Minister Theresa May was hit by a no-confidence motion by her own party on December 12 over the unpopular Brexit deal she struck with EU leaders last month. Facing her biggest crisis since assuming office a month after Britons voted in June 2016 to leave Europe, May vowed to fight the coup attempt inside her own Conservative Party “with everything I’ve got”. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

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British Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a vote in Parliament by Conservative Party leaders that would have forced her to step down immediately. Despite her political survival, critical questions still remain about the future of Brexit in the coming weeks.

CGTN’s Richard Bestic reports.

In secret ballot on Wednesday, 200 lawmakers backed May and 117 voted against her. Her victory means fellow Conservatives cannot challenge her for another year. She could still be challenged if the opposition Labour Party seeks a separate confidence vote in the House of Commons.

According to The Guardian, a majority of Conservative MPs backed her in a secret ballot after the prime minister signalled she would step down before the 2022 election.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn put out a statement moments after the results were announced.

Tonight’s vote makes no difference to the lives of our people.

The prime minister has lost her majority in parliament, her government is in chaos and she is unable to deliver a Brexit deal that works for the country and puts jobs and the economy first.

That’s why she pulled the vote on her botched Brexit deal this week and is trying to avoid bringing it back to parliament. It’s clear that she has not been able to negotiate the necessary changes in Europe.

She must now bring her dismal deal back to the House of Commons next week so parliament can take back control.

Labour is ready to govern for the whole country and deliver a deal that protects living standards and workers’ rights.

Three black metal boxes were taken to a room for counting after Conservative lawmakers spent two hours voting on Wednesday. The more than 300 paper ballots they cast were counted by hand.

May needed a majority vote to hold onto her position as prime minister and Conservative Party leader. If she had been defeated, she would have to resign, though she would remain a caretaker prime minister until a new Conservative leader is selected.

The future status of the Brexit process remains uncertain. A withdrawal agreement ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union in March has yet to be voted on by the British Parliament.

This story includes reporting from the Associated Press.