1. British Prime Minister Theresa May walking to podium
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Theresa May, British Prime Minister:
"Sir Graham Brady has confirmed that he has received 48 letters from Conservative MPs, so there will now be a vote of confidence in my leadership of the Conservative party. I will contest that vote with everything I've got. I have been a member of the Conservative party for over 40 years. I've served it as an activist, counsellor, MP, shadow minister, Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister. I stood to be leader because I believe in the Conservative vision for a better future, a thriving economy with nowhere and nobody left behind. A stronger society where everyone can make the most of their talents, always serving the national interest. And at this crucial moment in our history, that means securing a Brexit deal that delivers on the result of the EU referendum. Taking back control of our borders, laws and money, but protecting jobs, our security and our precious union as we do so. Through good times and bad over the last two years, my passionate belief that such a deal is attainable, that a bright future lies ahead for our country, has not waivered. And it is now within our grasp. I spent yesterday meeting (German) Chancellor (Angela) Merkel, (Dutch) Prime Minister (Mark) Rutte, (European Council) President (Donald) Tusk and (European Commission) President (Jean-Claude) Juncker to address the concerns that MPs have with the backstop. And we are making progress. I was due to travel to Dublin this afternoon to continue that work, but will now remain here in London to make the case for my leadership with my parliamentary colleagues. A change of leadership in the Conservative Party now will put our country's future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it."
British politics was thrown into chaos and Brexit into doubt Wednesday as Conservative lawmakers triggered a no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Theresa May that will see her removed as party and government leader if she loses.
May vowed to fight the challenge "with everything I've got," after Graham Brady, who heads a committee overseeing Conservative leadership contests, said he had received letters from at least 48 lawmakers asking for a vote.
As a result, he said, "the threshold of 15 percent of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded."
Brady said the vote would be held in Parliament between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (1800GMT and 2000GMT) on Wednesday evening, with the results announced soon after.
The announcement throws Britain's already rocky path out of the European Union, which it is due to leave in March, into further chaos.
Many Tory lawmakers have been growing angry with May over her handling of Brexit, and the challenge comes days after she postponed a vote to approve a divorce deal with the EU to avoid all-but-certain defeat.
If she loses the confidence vote, May must step down and there will be a contest to choose a new leader. She will remain leader, and prime minister, until the successor is picked. If she wins, she can't be challenged again for a year.