Enough Tory MPs have asked for a vote of confidence in Boris Johnson to trigger a contest, 1922 backbench committee chairman Sir Graham Brady has announced. A vote will take place tonight at 6 p.m.
If half the MPs vote they don’t trust Mr Johnson’s leadership, then he will be ousted.
But, as the rules currently stand, if Mr Johnson wins a vote of confidence he cannot be challenged again for 12 months.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, said in a statement: “The 15% threshold of the parliamentary party calling for a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been passed.
“As per the rules, a ballot will take place between 6pm and 8pm today, Monday June 6 – details to be confirmed.
“The votes will be counted immediately afterwards. An announcement will be made at a time to be determined. Arrangements for the announcement will be released later today.
Downing Street said Boris Johnson ‘welcomes the opportunity to put his views across to MPs’ with a spokeswoman for No 10 saying tonight’s vote was ‘a chance to end months of speculation and allow the government to draw a line and move on.”
A spokeswoman for No 10 said: ‘Tonight is an opportunity to put an end to months of speculation and allow the government to draw a line and move forward, respecting the people’s priorities.
“The Prime Minister welcomes the opportunity to make his case to MPs and will remind them that when they are united and focused on the issues that matter to voters, there is no more political strength. tremendous.”
Nearly 30 Tory MPs have publicly urged the Prime Minister to step down amid fallout from revelations about Downing Street parties held during lockdown.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative 1922 committee, told reporters in Westminster that Boris Johnson was told last night that the threshold to trigger a vote had been reached.
He said some colleagues had post-dated their letters after the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
He told reporters in Westminster: “I informed the Prime Minister yesterday that the threshold had been reached.
“We agreed on the timetable for the vote of confidence and he shared my view – which is also in line with the rules we have in place – that this vote should take place as soon as possible and that would be today. ”
He declined to confirm how many letters had been received or when the threshold had been crossed but said ‘it’s a bit complicated as some colleagues had specifically requested that it not be before the end of the Jubilee celebrations’.
Under Conservative Party rules, if 54 letters from MPs are sent to Sir Graham Brady – the chairman of the 1922 backbench Tory committee – asking for a leadership poll, then a vote is called. As well as running into trouble on his backbenches, Mr Johnson also faced backlash from the public over the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend, including being booed by some sections of the bench on Friday. a crowd as he arrives at a service of thanksgiving for the Queen at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Tory fears about their leader’s standing among the public were also likely to have been further fueled by polls taken ahead of the Wakefield by-election by JL Partners. The inquiry found the Tories could lose the key battleground seat, which was one of dozens of constituencies Mr Johnson took from Labor in the so-called Red Wall in his landslide general election victory of 2019, up to 20 points for Sir Keir Starmer’s party. this month.
With the Tiverton and Honiton by-elections due to be held on the same day, June 23, as Wakefield, Mr Johnson stands to lose seats to Labor in the north of England and the Liberal Democrats in the South West. The by-election will be the first electoral test for the ruling party since senior civil servant Sue Gray’s inquiry into the coronavirus rule-breaking events in No 10 and Whitehall was published last month.
Ms Gray released details of the raucous parties as she noted that the Prime Minister had attended a number of departures for aides, giving speeches and joining in the drinking, while telling the public not to see sick and dying relatives in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, considered one of Mr Johnson’s closest Cabinet allies, told the BBC on Sunday morning he did not believe the Prime Minister would face a test of confidence . However, Business Secretary Paul Scully told Channel 4 hours later that it “may well happen”, in a possible signal that his supporters are bracing for the announcement of a poll.
Mr Scully said regardless of the outcome of the vote, the party had to move on to deal with the ‘big things’ facing the country, admitting the so-called partygate affair had ‘stretched ” for too long.