Boris Johnson narrowly survives leadership vote

Boris Johnson narrowly survives leadership vote

  • Boris Johnson survived a vote of confidence, with support from 211 out of 359 MPs.
  • But Tory backbenchers believe it is “the beginning of the end” for the prime minister.
  • This comes after successive scandals, including partygate, damaged his reputation.

Boris Johnson narrowly won a vote of confidence in his leadership, with 211 MPs backing him to stay in power out of 359 votes cast.

The prime minister faced an instant Tory vote on Monday – less than 12 hours after his announcement – triggered after dozens of his own backbench MPs said he should quit.

MPs had lost faith in Johnson’s leadership following a series of scandals including partygate, the Owen Paterson affair and other rows of ‘sleaze’ that undermined his government’s authority.

Lines of MPs lined up to deliver their verdict, including Theresa May, the former prime minister, dressed in a ball gown.

But while he won tonight’s vote, with 148 votes against him, the Prime Minister’s grip on his leadership was weakened by the vote, MPs told Insider. They asked for anonymity to describe the feverish atmosphere of the party.

Current rules prevent another vote from taking place within 12 months, although Conservative Party sources have indicated the rule could be changed if there is sufficient demand.

A Tory MP said: ‘This is the beginning of the end. It’s actually much better for everyone if they go there willingly.’

Another predicted that Johnson would be “gone in six months… It’s Theresa May 2.0 [and] it lasted seven months.”

A third said his victory would leave the party “bitter” and divided. He said another vote of no confidence would be triggered as early as September, after the release of the privileges committee’s report into whether Johnson had misled parliament.

Sources painted a picture of chaos as Number 10 sought to convince Johnson’s own MPs to back him, with one saying they had been ‘complacent’ in the battle to rally MPs.

The Prime Minister addressed around 200 MPs at a 1922 backbench committee meeting at 4pm, which drew mixed reactions.

His team, including Chief Whip Chris Heaton-Harris, Deputy Chief of Staff David Canzini and Conservative Party staffers, personally phoned MPs to see if they were on his side – which sometimes led to disputes. people to receive multiple calls.

In the afternoon, the rebel ringleaders estimated they had secured as many as 150 MPs against Johnson, although this was reduced to around 120 in the vote.

Two rebel MPs said several colleagues who had publicly backed the prime minister, including ministers, had privately said they would vote against him.

Although it was a secret ballot, several have made public their intention to vote against the prime minister, including former ministers Jeremy Hunt, Jesse Norman and John Penrose and Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross.

Sources have suggested Johnson will seek a reshuffle as early as Wednesday this week to reward those who have supported him, while canning anyone perceived to be disloyal.

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