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Will a Vote of No-Confidence in Boris Johnson Succeed?

The politicians of the Conservative Party, colloquially known as Tories, triggered a vote of no-confidence in Boris Johnson that could oust him as UK’s Prime Minister. Senior Tory Graham Brady confirmed that the Parliament had enough letters from the members demanding to “get rid of” Johnson. He said that the threshold of 15% had been passed, which meant that at least 54 Tories had voted to remove Johnson from office and the party’s leadership.

The move came one month after a senior civil servant Sue Gary published a report revealing the details of the parties at 10 Downing Street during the COVID lockdown between May 2020 and April 2021.

How Will a Vote of no-Confidence in Boris Johnson Work?

According to the rules, 15% of Tories must submit a vote of no-confidence in Boris Johnson to Brady, which has already happened. Tories currently have 359 MPs, out of which 54 voted to trigger a no-confidence motion. In order to stay in office, Johnson requires 50% votes of his own party plus one vote of the parliamentary party, equating to a total of 180 votes.

Experts believe that the process will be similar to the 2018 Theresa May challenge. Brady will gather MPs and journalists in the committee room, declaring who voted to oust or keep Johnson in No 10. If Johnson receives less than 180 votes, Tories will choose a new Prime Minister.

According to the UK’s constitution, someone has to be in PM’s position at all times, so Johnson will remain in the office untill MPs pick a new leader. When Johnson replaced May, it took 2 months for him to assume office. On the other hand, no one can challenge him for a year if he wins the motion.

What is the “Partygate” Scandal?

Sue Gray’s report about COVID-rule breaking parties inside government buildings is a significant reason for the vote of no-confidence in Boris Johnson. The report revealed controversial details about the kind of socialization inside 10 Downing Street. It said that the way those gatherings developed was “not in line with COVID SOPs at that time”.

83 attendees, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, received fines after the investigation. The report also placed “pizza, champagne, and karaoke machine” at No 10 on 17 June 2020. It also said that around 3 AM, one person got sick, and 2 others engaged in a “minor altercation”.

The report also included some WhatsApp messages between Downing Street officials, revealing that the parties were pre-planned. It showed a conversation between a senior civil servant Martin Reynolds and No 10’s director of communication Lee Cain. It appeared that Reynolds invited the staff to a “garden party”, to which Cain replied that “200 people drinking and partying in No 10’s garden would be a comms risk”.

Johnson responded that he was “humbled” and took “full responsibility”, but it was time to “move on” and focus on the war in Ukraine. However, Tories only consider him a liability now.

Tories Already Have Options

If the vote of no-confidence in Boris Johnson succeeds, Tories will initiate a leadership contest. Several prominent government officials are likely contenders. A severe critic of Boris Johnson and a Tory for the last 30 years, Roger Gale, claimed they had “very good alternatives” to Johnson and were not short of choice. He further said that they were more capable of being a better prime minister than the current one.

Boris Johnson also received heat from the bystanders at Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. They booed him as he left the St. Paul’s Cathedral on 3 June.

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