Theresa May survives no confidence vote, vows to ‘deliver Brexit & better future’

May also warned that finding a successor - who would automatically become prime minister - "would mean either delaying or stopping Brexit".

Theresa May is facing a battle to stay on as Tory leader after it was announced that enough MPs have requested a vote of confidence to trigger a leadership contest.

In her statement delivered early on Wednesday morning (UK time) Mrs May said: "A leadership election would not change the fundamentals of the negotiation or the Parliamentary arithmetic".

"Listen, 17.4 million people voted to leave and yes, some of them say 'we want to leave whatever.' The job of these people here, the Government and the MPs, is to turn that into a treaty that has to be passed by Parliament".

Moreover, if the Labour leader failed to secure victory in such a confidence vote, then he would face his own challenge: to back or not to back a People's Vote.

The ballot will be held on Wednesday evening between 6pm and 8pm local time.

The win staved off what would have been an ignominious end to her time as leader - and means she can not be challenged by her own party again for 12 months.

"A change in leadership will put our country's future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it", she said outside 10 Downing Street.

"The only way out of this mess is for the PM to show real leadership by calling a People's Vote, and letting the public choose between this Brexit chaos and uncertainty or stability under the best deal we already have as a member of the European Union".

However, if May loses the vote, then Graham Brady will invite nominations for her replacement.

She said Labour would table a no-confidence motion that all MPs - not just Conservatives - will be able to vote in when they felt they had a chance of winning it, and forcing a general election.

"Theresa May is the best person to make sure we actually leave the European Union and deliver on the Brexit that I and the people of our great country voted for".

On Monday, May pulled a parliamentary vote on her widely maligned Brexit deal with the European Union, acknowledging it would have been defeated by members of the Commons.

After two hours of voting in Committee Room 14 in the House of Commons, Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, said 200 Conservative lawmakers had voted in support of May as leader, and 117 against.

The pound, which has lost 25 cents against the USA dollar since the 2016 referendum, fell again amid reports that Mrs May would face a leadership challenge.

Conservative leadership contests have two parts.

The PM thought she had seen off an attempt by this group of Brexiteers to get rid of her last month.

Many demonstrators continue to protest against Brexit outside the Houses of Parliament, with some calling for a new "peoples' vote" or for the United Kingdom to ditch Brexit altogether.

The vote was triggered by 48 of her MPs angry at her Brexit policy, which they say betrays the 2016 referendum result.

What happens if she doesn't get the support of MPs?

Environment Secretary Michael Gove, another Cabinet minister seen as a possible leadership contender, tweeted: "I am backing the Prime Minister 100% - and I urge every Conservative MP to do the same".

Spokesman Rupert Adams said the odds favoured Mrs May from the beginning of the day, and did nothing but improve as the night's vote neared.

Prospective leadership contenders are former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, home secretary Sajid Javid, and worldwide development secretary Penny Mordaunt.