London London is counting letters: After the “Partygate” report on banned lockdown parties in Downing Street, a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Boris Johnson is within reach. According to Sky News, 28 MPs from Johnson’s Conservative Party have now publicly called for his resignation – more than half the number required. If at least 54 of the 359 MPs in his party withdraw their confidence in the head of government in a letter to the relevant committee, a vote must be taken.
In a no-confidence vote, at least half of his own faction would have to vote against Johnson for him to lose office. The 57-year-old has been Prime Minister since July 2019.
New Johnson critics have been added since the beginning of this week. “I and other colleagues have submitted letters over the past few days and it may well be soon enough to trigger a vote of no confidence,” said prominent Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen. A total of at least 40 party colleagues at least questioned Johnson’s position, Sky News reported.
Since not all MPs are publicly expressing their criticism, observers expect that the threshold has almost been reached and that a vote of no confidence could be called as early as next week. However, a few months ago – after the first outrage about parties during the corona pandemic – there was such an expectation without any consequences.
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Graham Brady, the committee chair, is responsible for calling a vote of no confidence. This is expected to happen early next week at the earliest so as not to overshadow the upcoming celebrations of 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.
Johnson’s independent ethics adviser Christopher Geidt has called for the prime minister to explain publicly why he believes being fined for attending a lockdown party does not mean he has breached government guidelines on conduct. Previously, Johnson had said in a letter to Geidt that he was “certain, having regard to all the circumstances”, that he had not violated the so-called Ministerial Code.
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