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Theresa May survives Jeremy Corbyn’s no-confidence vote in her government

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LONDON — Theresa May’s government has survived a no-confidence vote called by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, after Conservative MPs rallied to her defence following the House of Commons rejection of her Brexit deal.

May’s government won the vote by 325 votes to 306, defeating Corbyn’s motion.

Addressing MPs following the result, Theresa May said she would reach out to leaders of opposition parties in the the House of Commons to seek a way forward for her Brexit deal.

Corbyn had laid down a vote of no confidence in the Conservative government on Tuesday night after a record-breaking House of Commons majority of 230 rejected her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union.

If the Labour leader’s motion had been successful, it could have led to May’s departure as prime minister and a fresh general election.

However, Conservative MPs from all wings of the party, including those who had vehemently opposed the prime minister’s deal with Brussels, voted to support her government on Wednesday evening.

The Democratic Unionist Party which props up May’s minority government, also voted to keep her administration in power despite their strong opposition to her Brexit deal.

The Labour leader told MPs that May “cannot seriously believe that after two years of failure, she is capable of negotiating a good deal for the people of this country.

“On the most important issue facing us, this government has lost the confidence of this House and this country.”

What happens next?

Jeremy Corbyn
Reuters

The Labour leader must now decide what he will do next. Dozens of Labour MPs and the majority of party members want him to commit to backing another Brexit referendum. 71 MPs called on him to back a new vote on Wednesday morning.

In a signed statement, the group called on Corbyn to back a second vote at this “unprecedented an perilous moment in our history.”

“We must try and remove this government as soon as possible,” the MPs stated.

“But the removal of the government and pushing for a general election may prove impossible, so we must join trade unions, our members and the majority of our constituents by then unequivocally backing the only logical option to help our country move forward: putting the decision back to the people for a final say.”

The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday that while there was “strong support” in the party for another referendum, their priority was forcing an early general election.

Corbyn’s spokesperson has suggested that the Labour leader will table more votes of no confidence in the belief that May’s government will become more vulnerable over the next few weeks as it struggles to deal with Brexit.

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