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Report: Senior Conservatives seek UK PM departure date, ahead of Brexit vote

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Report: Senior Conservatives seek UK PM departure date, ahead of Brexit vote

Senior Conservative party members are demanding clarity on when Prime Minister Theresa May may step down as the party leader, in exchange for their potential support for the Brexit deal, the Financial Times reported.

May expressed her intention to step down as the head of the party before the next U.K. general elections in 2022 when she survived a vote of no-confidence brought forward by her party in December 2018. However, there is no timetable as to when she will step down, and May's party leadership cannot be challenged again until Dec. 12, 2019, one year after the last leadership challenge.

Some Tory Brexiters are reportedly seeking a "true Brexiter" to lead the U.K.'s trade negotiations with the EU after Brexit, making Boris Johnson, former foreign secretary, and Dominic Raab, former Brexit secretary, May's possible successors.

The prime minister is understood to have been briefed on the development.

The U.K. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has declined to put May's deal to a third "meaningful vote" in Parliament without significant changes, after it was defeated by 149 votes last week. May needs a Brexit deal approved by Parliament by March 20 in order to request the EU to postpone the March 29 Brexit date until June 30.

A vote is now unlikely before a European Council meeting is concluded March 22, Bloomberg News reported. At the summit, May will reportedly request a delay for several months, or even more than 12 months.