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Theresa May survives attempt to change rules on leadership challenge

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FILE PHOTO: Theresa May holds news conference after EU summit, April 2019
FILE PHOTO: Theresa May holds news conference after EU summit, April 2019   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
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Prime Minister Theresa May will not have to face another confidence vote until at least December.

On Wednesday, the so-called 1922 Committee, which groups Conservative lawmakers, decided to keep current leadership rules unchanged despite the demands of some Brexit-backing MPs to oust May from her post earlier than current procedures allow.

The Prime Minister had survived a confidence ballot on December 12. Under current party rules, UK lawmakers cannot trigger another leadership challenge for at least 12 months after the last one.

But many of the party's lawmakers and members have become increasingly frustrated over her handling of Brexit and have called for a way to force her out sooner.

"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," Graham Brady, the committee's chair, told reporters after the meeting.

While the motion to change leadership rules was rejected, the 1922 Committee demanded a clear timetable for Prime Minister Theresa May's departure if her Brexit deal is rejected in parliament.

"We arrived at a fairly clear formulation which asks her to offer clarity on the timetable scheduled for her departure in the event that the withdrawal agreement is not passed," Brady said.

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.