Defiant Theresa May tells Tory MPs she's going nowhere

Theresa May faced calls to quit from her own MPs during PMQs
Theresa May faced calls to quit from her own MPs during PMQs
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A defiant Theresa May has told Tory MPs she is going nowhere after being issued with an ultimatum by angry Brexit-supporting backbenchers.

After being issued with a demand to set out a clear timetable for the Prime Minsiter’s departure by the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, Downing Street said Mrs May would be staying to see out the first phase of Brexit.

READ MORE: MPs step up pressure on Theresa May to set resignation date
Sir Graham Brady met with the Prime Minister on Tuesday and is understood to have issued an ultimatum to make her intentions clear by 4pm today, amid growing anger at the failure to deliver Brexit and the government's compromise talks with Labour.

But briefing journalists after Prime Minister’s Questions, a Downing Street source said: "The Prime Minister made a very generous and bold offer to the 1922 Committee a few weeks ago that she would see through phase one of the Brexit process and she would leave and open up for new leadership for phase two.

"That's the timetable she is working towards. She wants to get Brexit done."

Taking questions from MPs, Mrs May also defended her record on Brexit after facing a blunt call to quit.

Tory backbencher Andrea Jenkyns told the Prime Minister that she had “failed” and said it was time to stand down.

"She's tried her best, nobody could fault or doubt her commitment and sense of duty, but she has failed,” the staunch Brexiteer said.

"The public no longer trust her to run Brexit negotiations. Isn't it time to step aside and let someone else lead our country, our party and the Brexit negotiations?"

Mrs May replied: "This is not an issue about me and it's not an issue about her. If it were an issue about me and the way I vote, we would already have left the European Union."

READ MORE: Labour ‘doesn’t trust May’ after Brexit talks leak
Downing Street's stance increases the chances that the executive of the 1922 Committee will revisit its decision not to change Conservative Party rules to allow a challenge to Mrs May's leadership this summer.

Last month, the executive decided by nine votes to seven against cutting the period between motions of no confidence in the party leadership, from one year to six months. The Prime Minister survived a coup attempt in December, and under current rules is safe from any challenge until the end of 2019.