South Shields MP says Prime Minister Theresa May is 'hopelessly weakened' after confidence vote

A South Tyneside MP says Theresa May has been left 'hopelessly weakened' despite winning a confidence vote by Tory MPs.

Theresa May address the media after last night's vote
Theresa May address the media after last night's vote

The Prime Minister heads to Brussels today, seeking fresh concessions for her Brexit deal after emerging victorious from last night's vote.

She will address EU leaders at the two-day European Council after seeing off rebels who attempted to remove her from the party leadership, winning by 200 votes to 117 in a secret ballot.

Emma Lewell-Buck

After a day of drama in Westminster, the Prime Minister was still faced with the dilemma of how to convince the EU to tweak the Withdrawal Agreement so that it will be passed by Parliament.

Speaking in Downing Street moments after the result was announced, Mrs May acknowledged that a "significant" number of her MPs had voted against her and said: "I have listened to what they said."

She pledged to seek "legal and political assurances" on the Brexit backstop to allay MPs' concerns about her Withdrawal Agreement when she attends a European Council summit in Brussels on Thursday.

And she said she and her administration had a "renewed mission", saying: "Following this ballot, we now need to get on with the job of delivering Brexit for the British people and building a better future for this country."

She said this must involve "politicians of all sides coming together and acting in the national interest".

But South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck said: "The whole episode has hopelessly weakened her as a prime minister. Her authority is severely diminished.

"As for Brexit, nothing has changed. The arithmetic is exactly the same. The EU say they will not renegotiate so she has nowhere to go as Prime Minister.

"What I want is for Parliament to work together to find some cross-party consensus so that we can go back to Europe and deliver a Brexit that the people want and not a deal that no-one wants."