British Prime Minister, Mrs. Theresa May survived an effort to oust her as head of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party on Wednesday, leaving her standing but wounded as the government scrambles to negotiate Brexit just months before the U.K. is due to leave the European Union.
A majority of Conservative lawmakers chose to support her in a secret ballot that was triggered when at least 48 of her colleagues wrote letters demanding a vote.
If she had lost, May would have been forced to step down amid anger at her handling of the crucial Brexit talks and widening chaos over the manner of the U.K.’s break away from the 28-member European bloc.
Prior to the no-confidence vote, May told Conservative members of Parliament that she will step down prior to the next general election, which is currently set for 2022.
She said earlier Wednesday of the balloting on her leadership of the party, “I will contest that vote with everything I’ve got.”
The move to oust May came as lawmakers struggle to decide what the relationship between the U.K. and the European Union will look like after the March 29 Brexit deadline.
Earlier the week, the prime minister was forced to postpone a pivotal parliamentary vote on the deal she negotiated with the E.U. which faced a crushing defeat by lawmakers.
Most members of Parliament hate the deal, with hardline Brexit supporters in May’s own party accusing her of selling out.
But many of those same politicians have seemed reluctant to depose May altogether, fearing further chaos or even the prospect of the opposition Labour Party gaining power.
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