Warning of the risk to Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday vowed to battle a no-confidence vote set for this evening.
“I will contest that vote with everything I’ve got,” she told reporters outside 10 Downing Street.
"A change of leadership in the Conservative Party now would put our country's future at risk. And create uncertainty when we can least afford it," she warned.
On her unpopular Brexit plan, which triggered the leadership challenge, she said a “new leader wouldn't have time to renegotiate, so one of their first acts would have be extending or rescinding Article 50," the part of the EU founding treaty under which the U.K. is seeking to exit.
Forty-eight Conservative MPs today formally requested a vote of no confidence in May’s leadership. The vote is set take place between 9.00 and 11.00 p.m. tonight, Turkish time (GMT1800-2000).
The request comes after May delayed a key Brexit vote on Tuesday, fearing a defeat.
May needs support from 158 out of 315 Conservative lawmakers to continue as prime minister, but could also step down if she survives the vote by a slim margin.
May became prime minister in July 2016 when her predecessor David Cameron resigned after the controversial Brexit referendum that June.
Reporting by Tayfun Salci:Writing by Munira Abdelmenan Awel