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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

No Challenge to Major

LONDON () -- Prime Minister John Major on Wednesday escaped a challenge to his leadership of Britain's Conservative Party, giving him a breathing space to try to restore the government's political fortunes.

Right-wing critics of Major had threatened to back a no-hope candidate for the post merely to demonstrate the degree of unrest in the ruling party over Major's leadership.

But Sir Marcus Fox, chairman of the committee responsible for running party elections, told Reuters the critics had been unable to get the required support from 34 Conservative members of parliament, one-tenth of the parliamentary party. "There has been no other nomination ... John Major has been returned for another term," he said.

Leadership challenges can only take place once a year in the autumn.