THE threshold for a ‘no confidence’ vote in Theresa May Has been reached and so a ballot will now take place this evening to decide her future.
Theresa May will now face a no confidence vote in her leadership of the Conservative Party tonight, with the voting taking place between 6.00pm and 8.00pm.
If Mrs May wins the vote tonight, she cannot be challenged for 12 months.
If Mrs May loses, she must resign and there will be a leadership contest to pick her replacement.
If several candidates come forward, a secret vote is held among Conservative MPs to whittle down the number. The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated from the race and then MPs vote again. The process is repeated until only two candidates remain. These MPs then face a postal ballot of the Tory Party membership. Whoever wins will become the Prime Minister but this does not necessarily mean a General Election will be triggered.
How do MPs trigger a vote of no confidence?
Under current rules, 15 per cent of Conservative MPs must write to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, to trigger a vote of no confidence in Theresa May. At present, 48 MPs would need to do this. The committee is then required to consider and hold a vote.
What is the 1922 Committee?
This is an influential committee of all backbench Conservative MPs. They meet every week – when the House of Commons is in sitting – to discuss the party’s frontbenchers. The MPs who originally formed it were elected in 1922. One of the committee’s biggest responsibilities is overseeing the leadership elections within the Conservative Party.
Full statement from Sir Graham Brady:
The chairman of the backbench 1922 committee of Conservative MPs said: “The threshold of 15% of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded.
“In accordance with the rules, a ballot will be held between 1800 and 2000 on Wednesday 12th December in committee room 14 of the House of Commons.
“The votes will be counted immediately afterwards and an announcement will be made as soon as possible in the evening.”
Sajid Javid, the home secretary is seen by some as a potential replacement for Theresa May but this morning he has spoke out on Twitter to condemn the timing of the no confidence vote:
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
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) December 12, 2018
The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt has also spoken out in support of Theresa May:
I am backing @theresa_may tonight. Being PM most difficult job imaginable right now and the last thing the country needs is a damaging and long leadership contest. Brexit was never going to be easy but she is the best person to make sure we actually leave the EU on March 29
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) December 12, 2018