Two years after winning an 80-seat majority in the 2019 general election, Boris Johnson is now fighting for his political survival as a secret ballot of Conservative MPs is expected to be held tonight in Westminster.
After months of speculations and uncertainties, Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, announced this morning that the 54-letter threshold to trigger a formal leadership challenge has now been reached.
“The threshold of 15% of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded.
“In accordance with the rules, a ballot will be held between 1800 and 2000 on Monday 6 June, details to be confirmed. The votes will be counted immediately afterwards. An announcement will be made at a time to be advised. Arrangements for the announcement will be released later today.”
Boris Johnson needs the backing of 180 Conservative MPs tonight to keep his job.
Should the PM survive the vote of no confidence, Professor Tim Bale (Professor of Politics at Queen Mary, University of London) argues in the Guardian that “there’s nothing to stop all those who voted no confidence in him first time round immediately writing to 1922 Committee chair, Graham Brady, to demand another vote, something he and his colleagues would find it tough to deny on a technicality, especially when that technicality doesn’t really exist.”
According to Conservative peer and Times writer Daniel Finkelstein, speaking on BBC News, if between 120 and 130 Conservative MPs vote against the PM, it would be “seriously problematic” for Boris Johnson.
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The reactions in Westminster
Those calling for Tory MPs to finally sack the PM:
Anyone who believes our country is stronger, fairer & more prosperous when led by Conservatives should reflect that the consequence of not changing will be to hand the country to others who do not share those values. Today’s decision is change or lose. I will be voting for change— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) June 6, 2022
Those supporting the PM:
The ‘lines to take’ briefing from Number 10:
What a new poll says:
— AUTHORS —
▫ PMP News reporting.
- Text: This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 6 June 2022.
- Cover: Flickr/Number 10. - PM Boris Johnson. | 6 June 2022. (Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)