Vote of Confidence; Boris Johnson survived

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The vote of confidence was triggered after at least 54 of Johnson’s own MPs or 15% of Conservative lawmakers in the House of Commons submitted a confidential letter of no confidence to the chair of the 1922 Committee, a group of backbench lawmakers who do not hold government posts. As a result, a secret ballot was held on Monday evening, where 211 Conservative MPs voted to keep Johnson as the party leader, while 148 voted for his removal. Johnson’s premiership has been shaken by the so-called “Partygate” scandal, with months of allegations of alcohol-fueled parties and gatherings at the heart of his government during pandemic lockdown restrictions eroding support in his leadership. But the scandal is just one reason for the rebellion. Johnson has also been criticized for his response to a cost-of-living crisis, his inability to deliver on promises to boost the economy in northern England by creating new transport links, as well as his attitude toward the Northern Ireland protocol and the ongoing effects of Brexit. Johnson was expected to win the vote, especially given that around 180 MPs are thought to be on the government payroll and thus directly connected to the Prime Minister among them ministers, parliamentary private secretaries and party vice chairs. But while Johnson and his allies tried to spin the vote’s result as a “convincing” and “decisive” number, the final count of lawmakers who rebelled against him was far higher than his supporters expected. Before the ballot, some analysts said that if the number of MPs voting against him exceeded 100, he’d be in serious trouble. Does it mean he is safe? Technically and for now, yes. Under current Conservative Party rules, a leader who survives a confidence vote is safe from another such challenge for 12 months.

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