North Somerset MPs back Prime Minister in Tory party leadership ballot

PUBLISHED: 15:36 13 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:18 13 December 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

North Somerset’s two MPs have both pledged their allegiance to Prime Minister Theresa May.

Dr Liam Fox and John Penrose both have roles in Mrs May’s Government and chose to support her during a vote of no confidence yesterday (Wednesday).

A ballot of Conservative MPs was triggered after 48 of them submitted letters of no confidence against the prime Minister to the Party’s 1922 Committee.

But the rebellion within the Conservatives was quelled – for the time being – with 200 supporting Mrs May and 117 opposing.

Dr Fox, who was brought back into the Cabinet by Mrs May two years ago, was adamant she should remain in her post.

The MP for North Somerset said: “This is a totally inappropriate time to have a contest. The country expects us to provide stability not damaging division.”

Mrs May made concessions to help win support by telling Conservative MPs she would not contest the next General Election, which is not due to happen until 2022. No timeframe for her eventual exit has been given at this stage.

Mr Penrose, the MP for Weston, said on social media a leadership battle was not in the country’s best interest at this time.

He said: “We’ve got to focus on getting the right Brexit deal. Anything else is a distraction.”

Upon learning of the result, he added the time had come to ‘solve the country’s problems’.

Having survived the party leadership challenge, Mrs May is safe as the Conservatives’ leader for 12 months.

However, some Tory backbenchers have said Mrs May ought to resign given more than a third of the party’s MPs no longer have confidence in her.

Upon learning of the result, Mrs May addressed the nation.

She said: “Following this ballot we now need to get on with the job of delivering Brexit for the British people and building a better future for this country.

“A Brexit that delivers on the votes that people gave, that brings back control of our money, our borders and our laws.

“That protects jobs, security and the union, that brings the country back together rather than entrenching division.

“That must start here in Westminster with politicians on all sides coming together and acting in the national interest.”

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