May survives confidence vote and offers cross-party talks

Theresa May has survived an attempt to oust her as Prime Minister, as MPs rejected Jeremy Corbyn's motion of no confidence in the Government by a margin of 325 to 306.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 16 January, 2019, 18:45
Prime Minister Theresa May during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Photo credit should read: Mark Duffy/UK Parliament/PA Wire

The Prime Minister’s 19-vote victory tonight came less than 24 hours after the crushing defeat of her EU Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons, and clears the way for her to start cross-party talks on a Brexit Plan B.

Conservative rebels and members of the Democratic Unionist Party who consigned the PM to the worst defeat in parliamentary history on Wednesday rallied behind her to see off the threat of a general election.

Welcoming the result, Mrs May told the Commons: “I am pleased that this House has expressed its confidence in the Government.

“I do not take this responsibility lightly and my Government will continue its work to increase our prosperity, guarantee our security and to strengthen our union.

“And yes, we will also continue to work to deliver on the solemn promise we made to the people of this country to deliver on the result of the referendum and leave the European Union.”

Mrs May has now invited the leaders of opposition parties to meet with her one-on-one to discuss a way forward.

There were 314 Conservative MPs who voted against the no confidence motion, according to the division list.

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They were joined by all 10 DUP MPs and Independent Lady Sylvia Hermon.

There were 251 Labour MPs who voted for the motion.

They were joined by 35 SNP, 11 Liberal Democrats, four Plaid Cymru, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, and Independent MPs Frank Field, Kelvin Hopkins, Stephen Lloyd and Jared O'Mara.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, raising a point of order after the vote, said: "Last night the House rejected the Government's deal emphatically.

"A week ago the House voted to condemn the idea of a no-deal Brexit.

"Before there can be any positive discussions about the way forward, the Government must remove clearly once and for all the prospect of the catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit from the EU and all the chaos that would come as a result of that."