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‘Not Going Anywhere’: May Survives Showdown with 1922 Committee

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement on the Brexit negotiations following a European Union summit in Salzburg, at no 10 Downing Street, central London on September 21, 2018. - British Prime Minister Theresa May said Friday the European Union's abrupt dismissal of her Brexit plan was not acceptable, …
JACK TAYLOR/AFP/Getty

The Prime Minister has survived a showdown with the influential backbench 1922 Committee Wednesday evening with one MP saying Theresa May was “not going anywhere”.

The Prime Minister met with critics, who oppose her handling of Brexit, in hopes of averting a leadership challenge.

At the end of the 45-minute meeting in the House of Commons’ Gladstone Committee room, the backbench committee was said to have applauded and banged the tables in support of the Prime Minister.

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd said May had “won the room”, while a Remain-backing former minister said there had been “a total outbreak of unity” amongst the Tories.

However, Brexiteer Nadine Dorries claimed ahead of the Prime Minister’s arrival that the ’22 meeting had been “already rigged by the whips. Loyalist Chequers supporters will be dispersed about the room to desk bang and cheer. The whips will communicate via WhatsApp. The first questioner will already have been agreed and the questions planted. It’s a PR farce.”

There had been speculation earlier in the week that committee chairman Graham Brady was close to having received the 48 letters from Tory MPs needed to trigger a vote of no confidence; however, media sources said the threshold had not been met with The Mirror reporting claims that Number 10 had planted ‘decoy’ letters demanding the Prime Minister be sacked, which could then be withdrawn once the number of letters had neared 48.

While some MPs, like Ms Rudd, believed the Prime Minister’s job was safe, others thought to the contrary, with one reported by the BBC to have given May a 50/50 chance of surviving another week.

Both Remainers and Leavers in her party are dissatisfied with her unpopular Chequers Brexit plan, which would leave the UK tethered to the European Union’s rules while the transition period threatens to be extended beyond its original agreed date into additional months and possibly years, according to leaked documents seen by The Times.

Recent polling has also found that just 19 percent of the British public have faith in May to deliver a good Brexit.

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