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LONDON (AP) – British Prime Minister Theresa May fended off pressure Thursday from Conservative Party lawmakers demanding she quit within weeks.
But she agreed to set out a timetable next month for her departure, raising the prospect that Britain will get a new prime minister before it leaves the European Union – currently scheduled for Oct. 31.
Leaders - Committee - Party - Leadership - Contests
Leaders of a powerful committee that oversees the party’s leadership contests met May to express growing frustration in Conservative ranks at her refusal to name an exit date following her failure to deliver Brexit.
Members of the body, known as the 1922 Committee, have threatened May with the threat of a leadership challenge if she does not step down.
Meeting - Committee - Chairman - Graham - Brady
After the meeting, committee chairman Graham Brady said May wanted to defer naming her departure date until after Parliament votes on May’s Brexit bill in the week of June 3.
“Following that … she and I will meet to agree a timetable for the election of a new leader of the Conservative Party,” Brady said.
May - Vote - Party - Colleagues - December
May survived a no-confidence vote among party colleagues in December, and under Conservative rules she can’t face another challenge until a year has passed. Some lawmakers have been pressing for a change to those rules to allow a new vote on May’s leadership as soon as June.
Pro-Brexit Conservatives are furious that Britain has not yet left the European Union, almost three years after voters backed Brexit in a referendum. Many blame May for the impasse and want her replaced with a more staunchly pro-Brexit leader such as the former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson.
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