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How does a leadership challenge to a UK prime minister work?

The Conservatives currently have 316 members of parliament (MPs) so 48 of them would need to write such letters to challenge May

Reuters 

Theresa May
Theresa May (Photo: Reuters)

Prime Minister Theresa May has been left exposed at the top of a government unable to unite over Britain's plans to leave the European Union, after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Secretary David Davis quit within hours of each other.

Below is an explanation of how May could be removed from office if she has to face a leadership challenge: What needs to happen for there to be a leadership contest? A leadership challenge can be triggered if 15 percent of members of parliament in May's write a letter to the chairman of the party's so-called “1922 committee.”

The currently have 316 members of parliament (MPs) so 48 of them would need to write such letters to challenge May. Once that threshold has been reached, the chairman will announce the start of the contest and invite nominations.

ALSO READ: Britain in sixes and sevens over Brexit; David Davis, Boris Johnson resign

Could this happen to May?

The chairman of the 1922 committee is the only person who will know exactly how many members of parliament have submitted letters of no confidence.

But some eurosceptic members of parliament have started submitting letters to the committee chairman in protest over her negotiating strategy.

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 02:25 IST
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