Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced a confidence vote after a growing number of lawmakers in his Conservative Party questioned the British leader’s authority following what has been dubbed the “partygate” scandal.
Johnson, who scored a sweeping election victory in 2019, has been under growing pressure after he and staff held alcohol-fuelled parties at the heart of power when Britain was under strict lockdowns to tackle the spread of COVID-19.
Underlining the depth of anger, he was met with a chorus of jeers and boos – and some muted cheers – at events to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth in recent days.
A majority of the 359 Conservative lawmakers – at least 180 – would have to vote against Johnson for him to be removed – a level some Conservatives say might be difficult to reach, given the lack of an obvious successor.
Luckily for the UK Prime Minister has won a confidence vote, seeing off a challenge to his leadership brought by members of parliament within his Conservative Party.
Johnson won the secret vote 211 to 148 according to Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 party committee that oversaw the ballot.
Announcing the results, Sir Graham Brady said: “Good evening… I can report as returning officer that 359 ballots were cast, no spoilt ballots, that the vote in favour of having confidence in Boris Johnson as leader was 211 votes and a vote against was 148 votes.”
“And therefore, I can announce that the parliamentary party does have confidence in Boris Johnson.”