Theresa May vows to fight bid to oust her as Conservative leader

Theresa May has vowed to fight an effort to oust her as Conservative leader and Prime Minister "with everything I've got".

In a dramatic early morning statement outside the door to 10 Downing Street, Mrs May warned a change of Prime Minister would put the UK's future at risk and could delay or halt Brexit.

She insisted she would stay on to "finish the job" she has set herself as Prime Minister.

Mrs May's statement came about an hour after it was confirmed the chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, had received the 48 letters of no confidence from Tory MPs required to trigger a ballot on the leadership.

(PA Graphics)

The vote will take place between 6pm and 8pm on Wednesday, with the result announced soon afterwards.

Mrs May needs to secure the votes of 158 MPs – half the parliamentary party plus one – to remain as Conservative leader, though a vote of 100 or more against her will raise questions about whether she can continue.

If she wins, another challenge cannot be mounted against her position as Tory leader for a year.

Immediate statements of loyalty for the Prime Minister were issued by Cabinet ministers, including several who have been named as potential contenders to be her successor.

Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Michael Gove, Philip Hammond, Matt Hancock, Penny Mordaunt, Liam Fox, Steve Barclay, David Lidington, Amber Rudd, Chris Grayling, David Gauke and James Brokenshire were among those making statements of support.

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