Boris Johnson faces defining hour as Tory party converge for confidence vote

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a tough vote of confidence from the Conservative Party later on Monday after 54 of his Tory MPs sparked a contest following a series of confidence-shattering scandals in his leadership.

LONDON – Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a tough vote of confidence from the Conservative Party later on Monday after 54 of his Tory MPs sparked a contest following a series of confidence-shattering scandals in his leadership.

A Downing Street spokesman called the vote “a chance to end months of speculation and allow the government to draw a line, move forward and respond to the people’s priorities”.

Backbencher Graham Brady confirmed that “the threshold of 15% of MPs asking for a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been crossed”.

“In accordance with the rules, a vote will take place today between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. GMT) today,” he said, noting that the votes would be counted immediately afterwards and then announced “at a time to be agreed.”

A series of scandals have tarnished Johnson’s image over the past year, including the so-called “Partygate” controversy, in which he became the first sitting British prime minister to break the law.

Brady told reporters that last night – as Queen Elizabeth II’s four-day national Platinum Jubilee celebrations drew to a close – Johnson was told the threshold to trigger a vote had been reached.

“We agreed on the timing of the vote of confidence and he shared my view – which is also in line with the current rules – that this vote should take place as soon as possible and that would be today,” he added.

Brady did not reveal the number of letters of defiance towards Johnson received from Tory MPs, noting that some colleagues had post-dated their letters until after the birthday celebrations.

The Downing Street spokesman added: “Tonight is a chance to end months of speculation and allow the government to draw a line and move forward and implement the people’s priorities”.

EBBING SUPPORT

The 359 Tory MPs currently sitting in parliament will decide Johnson’s fate in a secret ballot, and if he wins – half the votes cast plus one – the beleaguered leader cannot be challenged again for a year.

However, the Conservative Party could change its own internal rules to allow another contest sooner.

If he loses, a leadership contest ensues in which he cannot pass.

Johnson refused to step down after receiving a single fine for attending an anti-lockdown event in Downing Street in 2020.

But support for him among conservatives has dwindled in recent weeks after the publication of an internal investigation that found he was presiding over a culture of late-night COVID lockdown parties and even a drunken brawl among employees.

A host of Tory MPs have come forward to say they don’t believe the party can win the next general election under Johnson.

Opinion polls have shown deep public disapproval of the scandal, with a large majority saying Johnson knowingly lied about ‘Partygate’ and that he should resign.

The Tories suffered several electoral setbacks during his tenure, including losing traditionally secure seats to the Liberal Democrats in by-elections and losing hundreds of councilors in local elections in early May.

The party is also set to lose two further by-elections in the South West and North of England later this month.

RosGwen24 News
RosGwen24 News
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