Victim of the “partygate” scandal in the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson is subject on Monday to a motion of no confidence from his party, the Conservatives. During the day, the chairman of the Conservative Party committee, Graham Brady, announced that the threshold of 54 letters from MPs, asking for the departure of the leader had been reached.
Former British Conservative Party leader William Hague on Tuesday deemed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Boris Johnson likely in the coming month, as criticism intensified in his camp under the effect of “partygate”. The publication last week of an administrative report detailing the scale of anti-Covid rule breaches at Downing Street reignited the scandal and since then new calls for the resignation have been made public every day.
More than 54 Conservative MPs call for his departure
It takes 54 letters from MPs to the party’s ‘1922 committee’ to trigger a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson. A threshold is reached quickly, as announced by the chairman of the Conservative Party committee. The vote will take place behind closed doors between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
If Boris Johnson is defeated, an internal election will be launched to appoint a new party leader, who will become Prime Minister, in a delicate context of war in Ukraine and inflation at its highest for 40 years. If he wins, he cannot be targeted by another motion of no confidence for a year, but his authority risks being considerably weakened.
In a letter to Tory MPs, Boris Johnson pleaded for his cause, stressing that the vote offered “a golden opportunity to leave (the scandal) behind us”: “If we can stand united in the days ahead then we we can win again and regain the trust of the 14 million voters who voted for us”.
A damning report
The report delivered by Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, is a damning dive into the parties organized in Downing Street during the confinements, synonymous with heavy sacrifices for the British. He details a series of very alcoholic pots – until vomiting – with altercations, music, departure by back doors in the early morning and disrespect for the security or maintenance agents.
Boris Johnson wants to “continue” his work at all costs
Boris Johnson, himself subject to a fine – unheard of for a Prime Minister in office – said he took “full responsibility for everything that happened” but felt that it was his duty to ” continue” his work.
The scandal has already dented Boris Johnson’s long-stalled popularity, leading to heavy setbacks for the Tories in a local election in early May. He was maintained by highlighting in particular the context of the war in Ukraine, but also for lack of an obvious successor.
Two partial legislative elections are scheduled for June 23, the next date likely to relaunch the revolt against the head of government. If he is defeated by a motion of no confidence, an internal election will be held within the party to designate a new leader. If he survives there, he cannot be dislodged for a year.