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Reaction as Theresa May wins confidence vote by 200 votes to 117

Theresa May speaks after winning the confidence vote (PA)
Theresa May speaks after winning the confidence vote (PA)

THERESA MAY has won the battle to retain leadership of the Conservatives and remain as Prime Minister after facing down a vote of no confidence from members of her party.

Mrs May accepted that a “significant” number of Tory MPs had voted against her but said she now wanted to “get on with the job”.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, she said she had a “renewed mission – delivering the Brexit people voted for, bringing the country back together and building a country that really works for everyone.”

Despite the win, Mrs May has come under criticism from both within and outside of her party.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was ‘barely even a Pyrrhic victory’ for the PM.

The SNP leader added: She may have clung on to the Conservative leadership, but her remaining authority has been fatally undermined… In any normal situation, the Prime Minister’s position would be untenable.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Tonight’s vote makes no difference to the lives of our people.

“The Prime Minister has lost her majority in Parliament, her government is in chaos and she is unable to deliver a Brexit deal that works for the country and puts jobs and the economy first.”

Prominent Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chairman of the European Research Group, said the result was “terrible” for Theresa May and she should resign.

A spokesman for the European Research Group of eurosceptic Tory MPs said: “The parliamentary arithmetic remains unchanged.

“We cannot and will not support the disastrous Withdrawal Agreement the Prime Minister has negotiated.

“We urge her to bring it back to Parliament without delay so that the view of the House of Commons can clearly be demonstrated, and we can move on to a viable policy instead.

“If Theresa May pushes ahead with her deal, which our confidence and supply partner quite rightly cannot support, we are set to have a general election she has said she will not lead us into and which no one can realistically think she would win.”