Despite surviving a vote of no-confidence from Conservative MPs, Theresa May’s fragile leadership could be facing a new challenge from outside her party.
After over a third of Tory MPs voted to remove her as party leader, attention has now turned to the opposition. With the Conservative Party undeniably divided, and May’s Withdrawal Agreement still unpopular among both sides, there are calls for Labour to issue a no confidence motion.
Timeline for Brexit
Corbyn has hit back at May’s decision to push back the parliamentary vote on the withdrawal agreement, describing it “totally and absolutely unacceptable to this house in any way” in a heated exchange during yesterday’s Prime Ministers Questions.
However, although Corbyn has said he does intend to table a no confidence motion the leader of the opposition has not yet made it clear when this could be, with the Labour Party biding its time on the issue.
Speaking to LBC, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said that the Labour Party is waiting to see what happens over the next week, as May heads to Brussels to continue talks over her Withdrawal Agreement:
“In terms of our own position, we’ll see what happens over the weekend. Now she’s gone off to the summit, I expect we’ll have a statement in parliament on Monday about the outcome of those summit negotiations and we’ll judge where we go from there.”
McDonnell has made it clear that the party does not intend to call for a vote of no confidence until they can be sure of a win: “We want to do it when we can win, otherwise what’s the point?
Despite mounting pressure from the SNP and Lib Dems, Corbyn has said that he is waiting until the “appropriate time”, signalling that the party is not yet confident it would win.
However, despite this bookies have given a no confidence vote in the House of Commons happening before the end of the year odds of 4/1, according to PaddyPower, and a vote during 2019 odds of 5/6.
The odds of Corbyn becoming Prime Minister still looks unlikely though, with the odds of this happening before on January 1st 2019 given odds of 20/1 by Paddy Power.
Corbyn no confidence vote: what could it mean?
In a vote of no confidence called by the opposition, all MPs, not just Conservatives, vote on whether the current government should be allowed to continue to govern.
Unlike a vote of no-confidence called by the Tory party, if Labour were to table a no confidence motion, it would not only mean a change of leadership but if successful, the government must resign, or call a general election.
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As of the snap election in 2017, the Conservative Party does not have a majority government. With the SNP, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and the Greens all saying that they would back Labour in a vote, and the Tory Party in disarray, winning would not be out of the question.
However, a no-confidence motion does not have to come from Labour. SNP MP Ian Blackford issued Labour with an ultimatum on Monday, saying that if Labour did not file a no-confidence motion, then the other parties would be forced to intervene.