British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, weakened by months of Downing Street holiday scandals during lockdowns, will face a vote of no confidence from Conservative Party MPs on Monday night.
“The threshold of 15% of parliamentarians requesting a vote of confidence from the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded,” said Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee in charge of internal organizational matters, in a press release. The vote will take place between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time (7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in Paris), and the result will be announced immediately after.
Towards a new election and a new Prime Minister?
It took 54 letters from MPs to trigger this vote. If the Prime Minister loses it, an internal election will be launched to appoint a new Party leader, who will become Prime Minister. He cannot face another motion of no confidence for a year if he wins.
“(The vote) tonight offers an opportunity to end months of speculation and allow the government to draw a line and move on by responding to the people’s priorities”, reacted the spokesperson for Boris Johnson in a statement.
“The Prime Minister welcomes the opportunity to present his case to MPs and remind them that there is no more formidable political force than when they are united and focused on the matters to voters .”
Far from putting an end to the scandal that has plagued the Conservative government for six months, the publication last week of an administrative report detailing the extent of breaches of anti-Covid rules at Downing Street has prompted new calls for the resignation, announced in dribs and drabs.
Boris Johnson “assumes”
Boris Johnson, himself subject to a fine (unheard of for a Prime Minister in office), said he took “full responsibility for everything that happened” but felt he had to “continue” his work.
The scandal, along with soaring prices causing a historic drop in household purchasing power, has already plummeted its popularity, leading to heavy setbacks for the Conservatives in local elections in early May. He maintained his position by notably highlighting his leading role in the Western response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He has so far also been favoured by the lack of an obvious successor in the ranks of the Conservatives, who have been in power for 12 years in the United Kingdom.