Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May makes a media statement in Downing Street, London, confirming there will be a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party, Wednesday Dec. 12, 2018. The vote of confidence will be held in Parliament Wednesday evening, with the result expected to be announced soon after. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)

London - British Prime Minister Theresa May told her MPs Wednesday she plans to quit before the 2022 election, as she seeks their support in a confidence vote, lawmakers said.

"She said she does not intend to lead the 2022 election," Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke told journalists after the closed-door meeting, which was followed by a confidence vote whose results are expected around 2100 GMT.

Cabinet minister Amber Rudd confirmed May's vow not to stand in 2022, as did MP Robert Buckland.

"She said 'in my heart I would like to lead the party into the next election' and then that was the introductory phrase to her indication that she would accept the fact that that would not happen, that is not her intention," Buckland said.

There was some doubt about whether May had unequivocally ruled out leading the party into any snap general election should her government fall before 2022.

But MP Nick Boles said she had been "crystal clear" that she would not lead the party into the next general election. 

"She now deserves the support of all Conservative MPs so she can get on with the job of delivering a Brexit compromise that can win a Commons majority," Boles tweeted.

Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg was not convinced by her promise, saying "intention is one of those politicians' dangerous words that one should never rely on."

AFP