UK PM Theresa May says she will step down before 2022 election

UK Prime Minister Theresa May faces leadership ballot after Conservative MPs trigger no confidence

In a secret ballot, 200 Conservative MPs voted to keep May as leader, whilst 117 MPs voted to sack her.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the no confidence victory meant nothing while the PM could not win the backing of the House of Commons for her Brexit plan. As part of her agreement with her party, she's already agreed to step down prior to the next general election, so they have no leverage over her by way of threatening to remove her.

And Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said: "She was very clear that she won't be taking the general election in 2022".

The Prime Minister will address a meeting of MPs at 5pm this afternoon, just an hour before a vote of no confidence in her leadership begins.

The prime minister said she hoped to "assuage" the concerns of Tory MPs who voted against her by seeking legal "assurances" from European Union leaders that the backstop plan to prevent the return of a hard border in Northern Ireland would be temporary.

Brexit was the only issue on the table and May has promised to continue to seek "legally binding" assurances about the Irish backstop from the EU.

Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote on Tuesday night (12 December) but it came at a heavy price, as she lost the support of almost 40% of her Conservative MPs and the opposition hinted it may soon mount its own challenge against her. But it was a significant vote against which can't be ignored.

The PM's spokeswoman said it would happen "as soon as possible in January". In any normal situation, the Prime Minister's position would be untenable.

But a trip to meet the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had to be cancelled because of the leadership vote.

She is still expected to attend an European Union summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

Her decision to defer the vote sparked a new wave of letters of no confidence which pushed the total beyond the threshold of 48 needed to trigger a ballot.

Sir Graham Brady announces that Theresa May has survived an attempt by Tory MPs to oust her as party leader
Sir Graham Brady announces that Theresa May has survived an attempt by Tory MPs to oust her as party leader

It is believed this would be the start of a two-stage reassurance process starting immediately, with officials working on more drafts to be published in January.

The more independent-minded i commuter newspaper said May received a "stay of execution". While they refused to reopen negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement, they have said further assurances can be offered on the political declaration.

"It failed to rally on the news", said Ed Al-Hussainy, senior currencies and rates analyst at the money manager.

And a narrow victory margin would not necessarily secure Mrs May's survival as she may find it politically impossible to govern having lost the support of a substantial element of her party.

Asked what concessions might succeed in winning over May's domestic critics, Kurz said: "It is hard to judge, because numerous sceptics do not argue in a way that is really rational".

Given the number of votes that went against her, and the uncertainty ahead - May still faces the daunting task of getting her Brexit plan past Parliament - the pound's next move is likely to be lower, according to Columbia Threadneedle Investments. Her behaviour today is just contemptuous of this parliament.

At the very least it provides some certainty in that markets know the United Kingdom leader will remain unchanged during the crucial 2019 Brexit as a new leader might have been more inclined to opt for a "no deal" Brexit.

Theresa May could decide to pitch a "softer compromise" that might attract some Labour MPs to her side and bolster her numbers, but the serious Brexiteers will hate it.

In a trip to Japan later in the year she insisted she would lead the Tories into the next election.

A split was still clear in the Tory party after the result.

Meanwhile, leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg told the BBC that "I accept the confidence vote result but Theresa May should still meet the Queen and resign". As I pointed out yesterday, numerous backbenchers in her party likely feared that the next person to take up residence at 10 Downing Street might be even worse.

Trump meets with German auto execs, tweets 'I am a Tariff Man'
Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche told reporters that additional USA investments are contingent on conditions remaining the same. One Chinese official told Reuters officials were "waiting for the leaders to return" before publicizing details.

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