Boris Johnson not safe even surviving no confidence vote
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face a vote of confidence on Monday, after at least 54 Conservative Party MPs asked for a poll. The publication of Sue Gray’s report into Government lockdown parties last month has led to renewed calls for Mr Johnson to resign. A majority of Tory MPs will need to vote against the PM in order to bring about a leadership contest.
Mr Johnson became PM in July 2019, when former leader Theresa May offered her resignation.
As Ms May’s government was in the middle of its term in office, Mr Johnson was able to assume Prime Ministerial duties.
He had earned the right to do so after emerging victorious from the Tory leadership contest held that summer.
Mr Johnson faced off against ex health secretary Jeremy Hunt, in a final ballot, which the former won with 92,153 votes (66 percent) to Mr Hunt’s 46,656 (34 percent).
During his time in office, Mr Johnson has dealt with the Covid pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
But it’s the fallout of Government parties, held during Covid lockdown measures, that has led to the PM facing a vote of confidence.
The last time such a poll was held was under Ms May’s government in December 2018.
Tory MPs triggered the vote after voicing their disapproval at her Brexit policy, which at the time some said betrayed the 2016 referendum result.
But despite her position coming under threat, Ms May survived the vote, with 63 percent of MPs voting in her favour.
Overall, she achieved a majority of 87 MPs, while 37 percent of her party’s politicians voted against her.
Speaking at the time, Ms May vowed to deliver the Brexit “people voted for”.
However, less than a year later, she would offer her resignation, opening the door for Mr Johnson.
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The vote of confidence for the incumbent PM will take place between 6pm and 8pm tonight.
Ballots from the poll will be counted immediately afterwards before a result is announced.
At least 180 Tory MPs will need to vote against Mr Johnson in the secret poll to remove him as party leader.
Downing Street has said Mr Johnson “welcomes the opportunity to make his case to MPs”, and that tonight’s vote is “a chance to end months of speculation and allow the Government to draw a line and move on”.
A number of high ranking Tory MPs have offered their support to Mr Johnson ahead of the vote.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted: “The Prime Minister has my 100 percent backing in today’s vote and I strongly encourage colleagues to support him.
“He has delivered on Covid recovery and supporting Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.
“He has apologised for mistakes made. We must now focus on economic growth.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak added: “From the vaccine rollout to our response to Russian aggression, the PM has shown the strong leadership our country needs.
“I am backing him today and will continue to back him as we focus on growing the economy, tackling the cost of living and clearing the Covid backlogs.”
Before the vote takes place Mr Johnson will plead his case, and privately address Tory backbenchers at 4pm.
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