London, UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday survived a vote of no-confidence triggered by members of her own ruling Conservative Party over her handling of the country exiting the European Union (EU).
After winning 200 votes to 117 or 63 per cent of the total ballots on Wednesday night, May is now immune from a leadership challenge for a year.
The result was met with cheers from MPs as it was announced by Graham Brady, an MP who leads the 1922 Committee which represents Conservative Party backbench lawmakers in the House of Commons, reports CNN.
Following the vote, the Prime Minister addressed the media outside Downing Street, saying that it had been a “long and challenging day”.
May said while she was “grateful” for the support, she also acknowledged that a “significant” number of number of MPs from her party voted against her.
“I have listened to what they said… We now need to get on with the job of delivering Brexit.”
The Prime Minister said that she now had a “renewed mission — delivering the Brexit that people voted for, bringing the country back together and building a country that truly works for everyone”.
Voting by secret ballot began at 6 p.m. on Wednesday after May made her final pitch to lawmakers promising them that she wouldn’t fight the next general election in 2022.
A pro-May MP told CNN that the Prime Minister “got a real grilling, but overall solid support” as she made her case to MPs.
Shortly after the announcement early Thursday morning, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted: “Huge congrats to Theresa May whose stamina, resilience and decency has again won the day and given her the chance to deliver Brexit for our country.”
Chancellor Philip Hammond also tweeted and saidthe result was “the right one”.
“Now is the the time to focus on the future,” he said. “Her deal means we will honour the referendum result while safeguarding jobs and maintaining business confidence.”
However, while May did win a majority, it does reveal that more than a third of Conservative MP’s voted against her as PM.
Jacob Rees-Mogg — who rallied against May — said the result was a “terrible” outcome for the Prime Minister.
He added that “she ought to go and see the Queen urgently and resign”.
Conservative MP Stephen Crabb said May must now win over MPs who voted against her, which will be “hugely challenging”.
Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Her government is in chaos.”
The biggest challenge that May faces now is that she is stuck between a UK Parliament that will not vote through her Brexit deal and the EU, which will not reopen negotiations on that deal.
The confidence vote coincided with May’s whistle-stop tour of Europe where she met key EU leaders, asking them for help passing her Brexit deal through Parliament.
May was forced to postpone a vote on the deal on Monday when it became clear her bill would face a humiliating defeat.