Boris Johnson Faces Party Mutiny Monday

He faces a no-confidence vote that could end his run as prime minister
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2022 5:55 AM CDT
Boris Johnson's Own Party May Oust Him Monday
Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference in Downing Street, London, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.   (Leon Neal/Pool Photo via AP, File)

The slow-burning "partygate" scandal in Britain may doom Boris Johnson after all. Members of his own Conservative party will hold a no-confidence vote Monday that could end his three-year run as prime minister, reports the BBC. The vote comes on the heels of a scathing report showing that Johnson and members of his government attended rule-flouting COVID parties at the height of the pandemic.

  • The vote: To stay in office, Johnson needs a bare majority of the 359 Conservative lawmakers to support him—in this case, 180 votes. That the vote is even taking place is a sign of trouble because it can only be triggered by 15% of Conservative members (a total of 54) of parliament calling for one.
  • Consequences: If Johnson loses, he is done as Conservative leader, and a new prime minister will be elected. If he wins, he is safe from another such vote for a year. The vote takes place Monday evening in Britain, from 3 to 5pm EDT in the US. Results should be known immediately.

  • Predictions: The AP thinks it's "more likely" than not that Johnson will survive. However, if it's a tight vote, he could be "severely weakened." The story notes that former Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote herself in 2018 but ended up having to resign months later. Johnson replaced her.
  • Predictions, II: The New York Times also sees a "good chance" that Johnson will survive, but it notes that the vote is conducted in private, meaning lawmakers who give Johnson a public show of support don't necessarily have to cast their ballot accordingly. That story also takes note of what happened to May.
  • What Johnson says: In a new statement to his fellow Tory members, Johnson acknowledges mistakes but says the vote is an opportunity to put the "partygate" scandal to rest. "With your support, I believe that tonight we have a great prize within our grasp," he writes. "We can put an end to the media’s favorite obsession." However, as the Guardian notes, Johnson's critics are making the very same argument.
(More Boris Johnson stories.)

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