After a growing number of Conservative Party lawmakers questioned Boris Johnson’s authority over “partygate”, a confidence vote will be held for Johnson later Monday.
Johnson was appointed Prime Minister in 2019. He has been under increasing pressure and cannot move forward from a report which documented alcohol-fuelled parties at power during a time when Britain was under tight lockdowns to combat COVID-19.
Jesse Norman, a loyalist who was a junior minister in the finance ministry between 2019-2021, launched a fierce attack on Johnson’s once unassailable position. He said that Johnson’s continued power infuriated both the electorate as well as the party.
Johnson, 57, is not the only Conservative legislator to express concern about Johnson’s authority to govern Britain. Britain is currently in recession, with rising prices, and strike-inflicted travel chaos.
Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee, which represents rank-and-file Conservative lawmakers, stated that the threshold of 15% for a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party had been met.
Brady stated that a vote would take place on Monday between 6 and 8 p.m. (1700-1900 GMT).
“The votes will count immediately after. Brady stated that an announcement would be made at a time to suit you.
Johnson’s Downing Street spokesperson said that the vote was “a chance for months of speculation to be ended and for the government to draw up a line and move forward, delivering on people’s priorities”.
“The PM is pleased to have the opportunity to present his case to MPs (members of parliament). He will remind them that there is no greater political force than a united, focused group of people who are committed to the issues that matter most to voters.”
To remove Johnson, a majority of Conservative lawmakers (or 180) would have to vote against him. This is a level that some Conservatives believe might be difficult to achieve. If Johnson’s resignation is approved, then there will be a contest for his leadership.
Johnson and his government have urged legislators to continue their work since the publication of the damning “partygate” report, which detailed fights and alcohol-induced vomiting at Downing Street lockdown-breaking parties, Johnson had called for lawmakers to do more.
Many returned to their voting areas or constituencies last week to hear a chorus of complaints about Johnson’s behaviour. The public also jeered and booed the prime minister at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the Queen last weekend, though there were some cheers.
Steve Barclay was named chief of staff at Downing Street following reports from the parties. He urged lawmakers to not “waste half the parliament on distractions rather than leadership.”
He wrote that if we continue to divert our direction, as a Conservative Party, and by extension the government of the country into a prolonged leadership debate we will be sending the opposite message,” he said on the Conservative Home website.
Norman, who listed his criticisms of Johnson’s behaviour and his lack of “mission” as the most obvious sign of Johnson’s criticism, criticized Johnson in a list.
He wrote that “people are crying out to have a good government… neither the Conservative Party nor this country can afford the next two years adrift, distracted by the endless debate over you and your leadership” in a Twitter letter.
“The fact that you are allowing this to continue by staying in office does not only insult the electorate and the thousands of people who volunteer, represent, campaign and support our party, but it also makes a decisive shift of government much more likely at the next election. This could be catastrophic for the country.
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