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May hangs on as party plotters try to oust her

Reuters LONDON (Reuters) — British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday she would stay on as leader to provide stability after a former chairman of her Conservative Party said he had garnered the support of 30 lawmakers who wanted her to quit.

May is trying to face down a rebellion by some of her own lawmakers just as Britain enters a crucial stage in Brexit talks, 18 months before the country leaves the European Union and must redefine its place in the world.

Some Conservative plotters say her authority is shattered beyond repair after a disastrous speech at her party’s conference, which comes after she called a snap election and lost her party its majority in parliament.

Speaking from her parliamentary constituency of Maidenhead in southern England, May said in a televised statement: “What the country needs is calm leadership and that’s what I’m providing with the full support of my Cabinet.”

Senior ministers rallied around May, who has just over a year to agree a divorce deal with the EU ahead of Britain’s exit in March 2019. May said she planned to hold a scheduled meeting about Brexit with business leaders on Monday in Downing Street.

But former party Chairman Grant Shapps told BBC radio: “I think she should call a leadership election.”

After May’s bungled election, her failure to unite the cabinet and a poor party conference “the writing is on the wall,” he said.

May’s authority was already diminished by her decision to call a snap election in June that lost her party its majority in parliament days before Brexit talks opened.Speech

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