Reprieve for May as the Tories decide against new leader vote
Theresa May's beleaguered leadership of the Conservative Party looks safe until the end of the year after the Tories decided against changing rules that could force her out.
The party will demand a timetable for her departure, but will not change the rules governing leadership challenges, the chair of the party's influential 1922 Committee said yesterday.
Mrs May survived a confidence vote in December and under the party's rules cannot be challenged again for 12 months.
But many of the party have become increasingly frustrated over her handling of Brexit and had called for a way to force her out sooner.
The executive of the 1922 Committee, which groups Conservative politicians, met to discuss whether to change the leadership rules.
"We determined there should not be a rule-change to remove the 12-month period of grace during which a second confidence vote cannot be held," said Graham Brady, the committee's chairman.
Mrs May has said she will step down if her Brexit deal, which has already been rejected three times, is passed by parliament, but has not set out what she will do if it is not.
Mr Brady said the committee would ask Mrs May for "a clear roadmap" for her departure if a Brexit deal is not approved.
Meanwhile, UK government talks with the rival Labour Party on a Brexit compromise cannot be open-ended, Mrs May's spokesman said.
He said working groups from both sides were pressing on with the talks this week, including a meeting to discuss financial services.
Mrs May's deputy David Lidington has insisted the Tories and Labour were making a "genuine attempt" to find a Brexit solution, but warned compromises were needed.
Mr Lidington said cross-party talks had been "constructive".