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May survives confidence vote - as MPs look at way out of Brexit chaos

PUBLISHED: 19:33 16 January 2019 | UPDATED: 19:58 16 January 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks  during the debate for the Government no confidence motion in the House of Commons. Picture: PA Wire

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during the debate for the Government no confidence motion in the House of Commons. Picture: PA Wire

Theresa May has survived the Vote of Confidence in her government - but not without another bruising debate in the House of Commons.

Sandy Martin MP enjoying the market  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSandy Martin MP enjoying the market Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Before the debate even started her own MPs were confident of victory – and bookies had her 33-1 on to win the vote – so the government majority of 19 came as no surprise.

Mrs May spoke briefly after the result of the debate was announced – saying that she would be seeking meetings with other party leaders at Westminster in a bid to find a way through the Brexit chaos.

However both Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the Scottish Nationalist Party said they would only talk with Mrs May about the future if she pledged that the “no deal” Brexit option was dismissed.

Dozens of MPs took part in the sixour debate – which saw the Tories provide a united front and resulted in the government winning the vote by 325 votes to 306.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has appointed South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge as his new Parliamentary Private Secretary. Picture: Office of JAMES CARTLIDGEForeign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has appointed South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge as his new Parliamentary Private Secretary. Picture: Office of JAMES CARTLIDGE

Ipswich Labour MP Sandy Martin had hoped to speak during the debate, but in the end he was not called because too many others also wanted to take part.

He had planned to speak about the divided nation. He told us: “The Labour Party is fired up and determined. We will stand up for ordinary working people.

“We will deal with the injustice and unfairness that led them to vote to Leave the EU in the first place. We know from talking to people in the 2017 General Election that they agree with us about the best way forward for this country, and that applies whether we remain in the EU or leave it.”

Speaking before the debate, South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge was confident. He said: “I think it’s clear that the government will have a majority in the confidence motion.

“My colleagues are all clear about the consequences of defeat – a general election and the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn moving into Number 10. We don’t want that!”

But the future of the Brexit negotiations was less clear: “We will have to see what the Prime Minister comes up with – but it seems clear there needs to be talks with people across the political parties to find out what deal would be acceptable.

“At the moment we are in a position where everyone knows what they don’t want, but can agree on what they do want.”

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