UK PM Boris Johnson to face confidence vote on Monday after ‘partygate’ scandal

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LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face a confidence vote by legislators in the ruling Conservative Party later on Monday (June 6), according to Graham Brady, head of the 1922 Committee.

“The threshold of 15% of the parliamentary party demanding a vote of confidence in the Conservative Party’s leader has been exceeded,” he wrote to Conservative legislators in a note.

Brady stated that the vote would take place on Monday between 6 and 8 p.m. (1700-1900 GMT).

“The votes will be counted soon following that. An announcement will be made at a later date “Brady stated.

Johnson, who was appointed prime minister in 2019, has been under increasing strain, unable to move on from a report that revealed alcohol-fueled gatherings at the heart of power during a period when Britain was under strict lockdown to combat COVID-19.

The report, written by senior official Sue Gray, did not expressly criticize Johnson, but provided graphic details and photos from more than a dozen parties, some of which he attended.

“Many of these instances should not have occurred,” according to the report. “The center’s senior leadership, both political and official, must share responsibility for this culture.”

Dozens of Conservative lawmakers have expressed fear that Johnson, 57, has lost his authority to manage Britain, which is experiencing a recession, rising gasoline and food costs, and strike-induced travel mayhem in London.

Jesse Norman, a junior minister in the finance ministry from 2019 to 2021, was the latest Conservative lawmaker to publicly call a confidence vote, joining a rising chorus of critics of Johnson’s electoral appeal.

Norman stated that he could no longer support Johnson. “Recent events have served to explain, beyond any doubt, the position this country is in under your leadership; and I am afraid I can see no conditions under which I could serve in a government led by you,” Norman wrote in a letter uploaded on Twitter.

For Johnson to be ousted, a majority of Conservative legislators, or 180, would have to vote against him, something some Conservatives believe will be tough to do. If passed, a leadership election would be held to determine his replacement.

Johnson and his government have urged MPs to move on following the revelation of a damning investigation into the so-called “partygate” incident, which revealed alcohol-fueled parties at the heart of power while Britain was under coronavirus lockdown.

Steve Barclay, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who was chosen as Downing Street’s chief of staff following party reports, advised legislators not to “spend the remaining half of the parliament on distractions over leadership.”

“If we continue to divert our trajectory as a Conservative Party – and by implication the government and the country – into a protracted leadership debate,” he wrote on the Conservative website.

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