11th December 2018
It is being widely reported tonight that Sir Graham Brady, Chair of the 1922 Committee has received 48 letters which will trigger a Tory Vote of No Confidence. This comes after a failed leadership coup just weeks ago and takes place at a most unhelpful time as the Prime Minister attempts to negotiate her Brexit legislation through parliament.
There has been increased speculation in recent hours, that the ERG group was ready to force a leadership election.
Laura Kuenssberg had the following to say:
Hearing that SirGraham Brady has asked to see the PM after #pmqs tmrw, and multiple sources, including senior tories and a cabinet minister, telling us tonight they believe the threshold of 48 letters has been reached – v unlikely to be any confirmation until tomorrow
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) December 11, 2018
Similarly, Robert Peston, the ITV’s Political Editor has reported being told by a source he trusts that Graham Brady has the 48 signatures required.
Analysis by Deputy Editor-in-Chief – Seb Chromiak
There are various things to consider here, firstly, if they do have the 48 signatures then the ERG group would need 158 Tory MP’s (or 50% of votes cast) to oust her and secondly, if she survives then the Tory’s can’t trigger another Vote of No Confidence for 12 months.
The maths does not add up. As I have previously stated, Tory MP’s fear a general election and the prospect at a run-off with Jeremy Corbyn more than anything, which is why the coup will fail.
Once again however, Labour have executed their tactics to perfection. They resisted the temptation to call a VONC themselves and have once again allowed the Tory’s to implode. Iwan Doherty, our Editor-in-Chief will acknowledge that I stated it would be deeply unwise to call a VONC and lose it.
For doing so would only build support around Theresa May, especially if she were to survive.
Where this particular movement differs however, is that there is increasing speculation that Tory remain voting MP’s are willing to vote with the ERG if she does not allow parliament a vote on her Brexit deal before Christmas.
May is attempting to play chicken in order to get her deal through, as January 21st approaches and the prospect of No Deal looms large. It may be her own party that blinks first.