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Theresa May’s crucial next 12 hours

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After one failed coup, Tory Brexiteers weren’t going to miss again.

Sir Graham Brady announced this morning that the 48 letters had been breached – meaning the prime minister was now facing a vote of confidence.

She had hoped to avoid this showdown by pulling the Meaningful Vote on her Brexit deal as she raced to The Hague, to Berlin and to Brussels to win further concessions on the thorny issue of the backstop.

:: May: I will contest confidence vote with everything I’ve got

But events have overtaken her and tonight will be the moment of reckoning as MPs deliver their verdict on her leadership.

MPs are split on whether she will survive the vote: loyalists are certain the bulk of her party will back her, but Brexiteers say the mood has hardened against her and her government – without the support of the DUP – has hit the buffers.

It will be a crucial 12 hours for her as she heads to that secret ballot of Tory MPs.

:: What happens if PM loses confidence vote

She has the rest of the day to convince 158 of them to stick with her in that vote and will enter her final plea at the 1922 meeting at 5.30pm just minutes before the ballot opens.

If she wins, MPs cannot call another vote for 12 months and will press on with her Brexit plan, emboldened.

If she loses, Britain will have a new prime minister in the new year – with the Brexit process as unresolved then as it is now.

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