British Prime Minister Boris Johnson awaits leadership vote after ‘party gate’ scandal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to hold a confidence vote later Monday amid mounting dissatisfaction with his leadership.

To provoke a confidence vote, 15% of Conservative lawmakers (or 54 of the current 359 Conservative Party MPs) must write letters to Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee overseeing the party’s leadership challenges .

On Monday, Brady announced that the threshold had been crossed and that he had informed the Prime Minister on Sunday evening that a vote would be held.

The vote is scheduled for Monday night local time, between 6-8pm London time (1pm-3pm ET.)

A report was released last month on several high-profile Covid-19 lockdown parties at Johnson’s office and residence, sparking calls for a confidence vote.

Shortly after the confidence vote was announced, a Downing Street spokesperson released a brief statement saying tonight’s vote is “an opportunity to end months of speculation and allow the government to draw a line.” and move forward and deliver on people’s priorities,” Sky News reported.

The statement added that the prime minister welcomed the opportunity to make his case before lawmakers, and “will remind them that when they are united and focused on the issues that matter to voters, there is no more formidable political force.” .”

Some senior conservative lawmakers have already backed the prime minister. Secretary of State Liz Truss tweeted Monday that Johnson had her “100% support” in the vote.

“He has delivered the covid recovery and supported Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. He has apologized for mistakes made. We must now focus on economic growth,” she said. Chancellor Rishi Sunak also supported the prime minister.

If Johnson wins the vote, he will be protected from another confidence vote for another 12 months, although there have been previous reports that these rules could be changed. On Monday, Brady told reporters that while it is “technically” possible to change rules, “the rule at the moment is that there is a grace period” before a new vote takes place.

If Johnson loses the vote, he will be forced to resign and a conservative leadership contest will begin. In that case, Johnson, as the deposed leader, may not stand.

Johnson could also resign of his own accord, but despite previous rumors of discontent among Tory MPs over Johnson’s colorful and often controversial leadership, he has shown no signs of intent to do so.

Nevertheless, Johnson’s public position is a source of concern to many Tory MPs, who are wary of the British public’s perception of the Conservative Party and its leader.

On Friday, TV footage showed crowds booing Johnson as he arrived at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London for a thanksgiving service in honor of Queen Elizabeth II and her 70 years on the throne, a milestone that has been marked with a platinum award for the past four days. anniversary celebrations across the UK

Conservative colleague Robert Hayward told Sky News on Monday that the images may have had an impact on Conservative MPs, influencing them to send letters to Brady.

Brady himself said Monday that some Tory lawmakers had sent him letters before the platinum anniversary celebrations began, but requested that their letters be counted after the weekend so as not to interrupt the festivities that ended Sunday.

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