British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face a no-confidence vote on Monday evening, the chair of ruling Conservative Party’s backbench committee said, PTI reported.
A backbench committee is a panel comprising members of a political party in the British Parliament that are legislators but do not either hold a government position or are spokespersons of other parties.
The motion came after more than 40 Conservative Party MPs demanded that Johnson resign as he and his staff members had held parties during lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease. The scandal has been dubbed partygate.
MP Sir Graham Brady will collate the no-confidence letters received by the 1922 Committee, the Conservative Party’s parliamentary group. He said that 54 Conservative MPs had submitted letters seeking Johnson’s departure.
“The threshold of 15% of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded,” Brady said in a statement. “In accordance with the rules, a ballot will be held between 6 pm and 8 pm [local time] on June 6, details to be confirmed.”
Brady said that the votes will be counted immediately but the results will be announced later, PTI reported.
On May 25, civil servant Sue Gray had published a report on the scandal.
The report said that several parties took place at Downing Street between 2020 and 2021 when lockdowns banning gatherings were in place across the country. The meetings were attended by Johnson and other senior ministers of the government, the report said, according to PTI.
Johnson had issued an apology for attending the parties. However, the Opposition had demanded that Johnson step down as the party leader.
To remain in office, Johnson needs to win the support of 180 Conservative legislators, The Guardian reported. They have 359 MPs in the House of Commons.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has expressed her support for Johnson.
“The prime minister has my 100% backing in today’s vote and I strongly encourage colleagues to support him,” she wrote on Twitter. “He has delivered on Covid-19 recovery and supporting Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. He has apologised for mistakes made. We must now focus on economic growth.”
If Johnson does not win by a majority, he will be removed as the leader of the Conservative Party and also from the prime minister’s office, less than three years after assuming the role, CNN reported.
Also read: Is the party over for Boris Johnson?