6 JUNE 2022 | NEWS
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won a vote of no confidence in his leadership tonight.
211 Conservative MPs voted in favour of Mr Johnson, despite 148 voting against him, giving him a majority of 63. It is understood that the Prime Minister was not himself present in the room to hear the result of the vote.
This morning, the Chair of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, announced that more than the 54 letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister required to invoke such a vote in his leadership had been surpassed.
It is believed that Brady had made Johnson aware of the coming vote over the period of the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend.
The Conservative Party rulebook states that in the scenario of 15% of Conservative MPs submitting a no confidence letter to the 1922 Committee, its Chair must call a vote in which Conservative MPs will decide whether the party leader should lose or retain leadership.
In order for a vote of no confidence to defeat the incumbent leader, more than half of backbench Tories must vote against them to trigger a leadership contest. A simple majority of 1 is enough for the current leader to remain in place.
However, around 41% of Conservative MPs voting against the Prime Minister tonight, it means the total percentage who voted against Johnson is worse than the percentage of Tories who voted against his predecessor, Theresa May, when she won her vote of confidence in late 2019.
However, she eventually resigned after it became clear that her position was nonetheless untenable, despite her victory in the confidence vote itself.
In a statement, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said in response to the result that Johnson is “utterly unfit” to serve in the “great office” he holds.
“Conservative MPs made their choice tonight. They have ignored the British public … and hitched themselves and their party firmly to Boris Johnson and everything that he represents.
“The Conservative Party now believes that breaking the law is no impediment to making the law.”
He added on Twitter: “The choice is clearer than ever before: Divided Tories propping up Boris Johnson with no plan to tackle the issues you are facing.
“Or a united Labour Party with a plan to fix the cost-of-living crisis and restore trust in politics. Labour will get Britain back on track.”
The internationalist campaign group Best for Britain, which opposes Mr Johnson’s premiership, said in a statement: “This country needs leaders we can trust, be proud of, and who can give our trading relationship with Europe the impetus we so desperately need.
As our broken system continues to keep this divided Government in power, but with no vision for the country, it is essential that opposition parties work together at the next election to remove this Government.”
The Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, who had earlier declared her support for Mr Johnson, tweeted: “Pleased that colleagues have backed the Prime Minister. I support him 100%. Now’s the time to get on with the job.”