Defiant UK PM May puts up a fearless front against leadership challenge

UK PM May deploys ministers to sell Brexit deal to public

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May defended her leadership outside 10 Downing Street just before 9 a.m. Wednesday, revealing that her Conservative Party had demanded a vote of confidence in her premiership amid the tumult of Britain exiting the EU.

The vehemently eurosceptic group tried to prompt a vote of no confidence in the prime minister last month when she revealed the details of her draft Brexit agreement with the European Union but was unable to corral enough supporters.

The results of the vote will be announced at 9 p.m.

"Weeks spent tearing ourselves apart will only create more divisions", May said, adding: "I stand ready to finish the job". But her authority was seriously undermined by the botched early general election she called a year ago which, instead of consolidating the Conservatives' hold on power, ended up with Mrs May losing her overall parliamentary majority.

Supporters said the result showed the party should now get behind her.

MPs from all sides of the House of Commons expressed outrage and frustration that May called off a vote on the deal that she had agreed to with the European Union covering how the United Kingdom will leave the bloc.

If she loses the vote of party legislators, taking place on Wednesday evening, May must step down.

"The government has lost control of events and is in complete disarray", Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said.

Candidates for the leadership must be nominated by two Conservative MPs.

But the 117 votes cast against her underlined the battle she will face in persuading MPs to back her Brexit deal.

"I will contest that vote with everything I've got", May said.

Ms Hewn said markets are "most concerned" with the prospect of a no deal Brexit.

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"The UK changed prime minister in May 1940 - in the middle of a monstrously greater national crisis than this".

Hunt replaced Johnson as foreign minister in July and has urged the Conservative membership to set aside their differences over Brexit and unite against a common foe: the EU. Brady said that the party aimed to finish the first stage of any leadership contest - in which lawmakers vote to whittle down the field of contenders to two - before Parliament breaks for Christmas on December 20.

The no-confidence vote could suggest Britain is one step closer to dropping out of the European Union in March with no deal, a worst case scenario that most economic commentators, including the Bank of England, say would lead to a recession.

Solicitor-General Robert Buckland said May told lawmakers at a meeting that "it is not her intention to lead the party in the 2022 general election".

The final pair then go to a postal ballot of all party members, with the position of leader - and prime minister - going to the victor. She promised to implement Brexit while keeping close ties to the bloc, to heal a divided nation. Two members who were under party suspension for alleged misconduct prior to Wednesday were permitted to vote in the ballot.

If she survives Wednesday's vote, May could still face a further confidence motion in the House of Commons at a later date.

Opposition lawmakers had shouted "resign" at the prime minister during her statement.

Some lawmakers fear the vote might be delayed to pressure MPs into backing May's deal.

"We are working hard to make sure we get an orderly Brexit", said Merkel, the EU's most powerful leader.

Mr Juncker told MEPs the agreement was the "best deal possible" and the "only deal possible".

"We can not continue like this", said leading Conservative rebel Jacob Rees-Mogg, who led a failed attempt to unseat May last month.

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