April 24, 2019 / 4:31 PM / in 25 days

Conservatives to demand clear departure schedule from May

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at church, in Sonning, Britain April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - The Conservative Party will demand a clear timetable for Prime Minister Theresa May’s departure but will not change the rules governing leadership challenges, the chair of the party’s influential 1922 Committee said on Wednesday.

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’s MPs and members have become increasingly frustrated over her handling of Brexit and have called for a way to force her out sooner.

The executive of the so-called 1922 Committee, which groups Conservative MPs, met on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday 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,” Graham Brady, the committee’s chair, told reporters after the meeting.

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.

Brady said the committee would ask May for “a clear roadmap” for her departure if a Brexit deal is not approved.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Kylie MacLellan; editing by William James

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