Confirmed – 48 letters have been received by Graham Brady and TMay could be voted out tonight

December 12th, 2018

So the rumours that we were hearing last night were correct. The names have gone in to the chairman of the 1922 committee, Graham Brady, and now we have a confidence vote taking place.

Under the rule changes introduced when William Hague was Conservative leader this is the mechanism for ousting someone who has ceased to retain the confidence of the parliamentary Party.

If she is defeated then there will have to be a new leadership election at a very critical time and, of course, over the holiday period. Mrs May would be barred from being a candidate in that new election.

    The dilemma for Tory MPs is that they could be triggering off a process that could produce a leader that they are totally hostile to and they would regard as worse than TMay.

The great thing for her is that if she does survive, even by a majority of just one then she is immune from another leadership challenge for a year.

What we don’t know is what would happen if she loses. Will she remain in position until such time as a new leader is elected or would the cabinet recommend that an emergency temporary leader, and PM, is put in place until such time as a new leader has formally been elected.

No doubt the betting markets will be very active. I am delighted that I closed down my Theresa May will survive wager until the end of 2018 bet at the weekend at a profit.

Mike Smithson