Boris Johnson is set to face a confidence vote at 6pm today after more than 15% of Conservative MPs withdrew their support for the PM after the Partygate Scandal.
Why is Boris Johnson facing a vote of no confidence?
The confidence vote of was triggered after 54 members of the Parliament from Johnson’s own party sent letters to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the Tory backbench 1922 committee, crossing the required threshold.
The ‘Partygate scandal’ as stated in the Sue Gray report has been one of the main reasons behind the emergence of the no confidence motion. The scandal focused on a series of parties and gatherings involving the government and Conservative party staff when the rest of the country was subject to Covid lockdown restrictions.
The vote of no confidence against Boris Johnson would be successful if rebel MPs are able to gain 180 votes in favour of the motion. The Tory MPs will vote in a secret ballot for them to be removed.
What happens if Boris Johnson loses the vote of no confidence?
If Boris Johnson is ousted or forced to resign due to the no confidence motion, the Conservative party will remain in power but will need to have an internal leadership contest to elect a new leader, who will automatically become Prime Minister. The newly elected leader will then lead the party into the next general election.
If several candidates come forward for the post, a secret vote is held among Conservative MPs to narrow down the field. The candidate with the fewest votes is removed and another ballot among Conservative MPs is held. The process is repeated until two candidates remain.
The winner is one of the final two candidates who are put to a postal ballot of the wider Conservative Party membership.
However, if Boris Johnson wins the motion, then there will be a grace period of one year during which a further leadership contest cannot take place.
Till now, 29 MPs have expressed their displeasure towards the PM publicly including Jesse Norman, Neil Hudson, Mark Harper among others.
“I have supported Boris Johnson for 15 years, for the London Mayoralty and for PM. Very sadly, I have written to him to say I can no longer do so” tweeted Jesse Norman, Conservative MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire.
Liz Truss, foreign secretary and minister for women and equality tweeted in favour of the PM, saying: “The Prime Minister has my 100% backing in today’s vote and I strongly encourage colleagues to support him.”
Conservative MPs will vote on Johnson’s future from 6pm.