'Parliament doesn't get a vote. The people don't get a vote. But the Tories do' - North East MPs respond to news PM is to face a confidence vote over her handling of Brexit
North East MPs have been reacting to the new Prime Minister Theresa May will face a confidence vote by Tory MPs over her handling of Brexit this evening.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, announced this morning that enough members had requested a vote to trigger a contest,
Sir Graham said a ballot would be held between 6pm and 8pm tonight in the Commons: "The threshold of 15% of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded.
"In accordance with the rules, a ballot will be held between 1800 and 2000 on Wednesday, 12th December, in committee room 14 of the House of Commons.
"The votes will be counted immediately afterwards and an announcement will be made as soon as possible in the evening. Arrangements for the announcement will be released later today."
The Prime Minister said she would contest the leadership challenge 'with everything I've got.'
Mrs May said changing the Conservative leader would "put our country's future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it" and could lead to Brexit being delayed or prevented.
Moments after news of the vote was announced, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted: "I am backing @theresa_may tonight. Being PM most difficult job imaginable right now and the last thing the country needs is a damaging and long leadership contest.
"Brexit was never going to be easy but she is the best person to make sure we actually leave the EU on March 29," he added.
In a joint statement the chairman of the European Research Group Jacob Rees-Mogg and his deputy Steve Baker said: "Theresa May's plan would bring down the Government if carried forward. But our party will rightly not tolerate it.
"Conservatives must now answer whether they wish to draw ever closer to an election under Mrs May's leadership. In the national interest, she must go."
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: "The last thing our country needs right now is a Conservative Party leadership election. Will be seen as self-indulgent and wrong. PM has my full support and is best person to ensure we leave EU on 29 March."
Tory former minister Ed Vaizey said he would support the Prime Minister in the vote, but Sir Bernard Jenkin told Today he would vote for a change in leadership. Sir Bernard said he had submitted a letter of no confidence earlier this week with "great regret".
Reacting to this morning's news, Labour MP for Houghton & Sunderland South Bridget Phillipson took to Twitter and contrasted the vote to the Government's refusal to allow a second referendum on Brexit:: "So Parliament doesn’t get a vote on Theresa May or her deal. The people don’t get a vote on Theresa May or her deal. But the Tories do."
“At this critical time for our country, the Tories have yet again put their internal divisions ahead of the national interest," said Ms Phillipson.
"Changing Prime Minister won’t change the fact that no Brexit deal can match the far-fetched promises made in 2016, or beat the one we have as EU members.
"Our country’s future is at stake, and this is far too important to be determined by an internal Tory leadership contest.
"It’s increasingly clear that the only way out of this mess is to let the public decide in a People’s Vote if they want Theresa May’s deal, or to stick with the one we’ve got."
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck said this morning's announcement had not come as s surprise.
"I think it was to be expected," she said.
"The Tory Party are ripping themselves apart at the seams. - it has been bubbling for a while.
"What is more surprising is that she seems as if none of this is actually going on. She seems to be stuck on a loop.
"I can't see how this lot can take us through the negotiations while all this is going on. The best thing now is to have a general election to get some order restored.
"Let Labour take over."
Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson said: "It has been made clear this morning that the Conservative Party is concerned more with its own political manoeuvring than the future of this country.
"Whilst they fight it out between themselves, we are still none the wiser on the Brexit deal and households up and down the country are fighting to make ends meet.
"No one is benefitting from the instability of this Government, they should focus on the real issues that matter to this country rather than the wellbeing of their own political careers."