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United Kingdom: Boris Johnson survives a vote of no confidence in his Conservative Party

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Subject to a vote of no confidence from his party following the “partygate” affair, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson emerged victorious from this showdown with the Conservative Party. Of the 359 Conservative MPs who voted, 211 voted in favor of the Prime Minister.

Despite the anger that rumbles after months of scandal, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson saved his post on Monday by winning a vote of no confidence from his majority, from which he risks however emerging even further weakened. Two and a half years after his triumphant victory at the polls, the increasingly challenged 57-year-old leader has once again demonstrated his ability to get out of the most perilous situations. But he remains bogged down in the affair of the party gatethe very drunk parties organized in Downing Street during the confinements, and the vote on Monday showed the deep divisions within the Conservative party.

211 MPs out of 359 gave him their support

Of the 359 Conservative MPs who voted, 211 voted in favor of the former mayor of London, against 148 who wanted to oust him, or 41% of voters: a considerable group of rebels likely to paralyze government action. Boris Johnson hastened to hail a “convincing result” which allows “to move on”, calling his party to unity and saying he was “certainly not interested in an early election”.

At the end of 2018, Theresa May had survived a motion of no confidence with a wider margin than her successor, before resigning a few months later, too weakened to lead. Boris Johnson has so far totally refused to step down.

After weeks of speculation, events rushed on Monday morning, barely closed the festive parenthesis of the celebrations of the 70 years of reign of Elizabeth II. Conservative Party 1922 committee chairman Graham Brady announced that the fateful threshold of 54 letters from MPs, or 15% of the parliamentary group, calling for Boris Johnson to leave, had been reached, triggering the vote.

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No motions can be filed for a year

In the event of defeat, an internal election would have been called to designate a new leader of the party, who would have become head of government, in a delicate context of war in Ukraine and inflation at its highest for 40 years. Victorious, he cannot be targeted by another motion of no confidence for a year, according to the current rules.

According to a poll published by YouGov on Monday, 60% of Britons wanted the Tories to oust their leader – but only 32% of Majority voters.

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