A vote of confidence in Boris Johnson is set to take place this evening after enough Conservative MPs called for one to take place. But what happens now?
The vote has been triggered because 15% of Tory MPs have requested it. This means a vote is set to take place at 6pm tonight (June 6).
As per the rules, if half of the MPs vote that they have no confidence in the Prime Minister’s leadership, he will stand down. But if he wins the vote, he cannot be challenged again for another 12 months.
In response to the news, Downing Street said Mr Johnson “welcomes the opportunity to make his case to MPs”. A No 10 spokeswoman said the vote is “a chance to end months of speculation and allow the Government to draw a line and move on”.
The main cause of no confidence stems from revelations about Downing Street parties held during the Covid lockdown. This led to a series of fine being handed out by Metropolitan Police including penalties to the Prime Minister followed by criticism from senior civil servant Sue Gray in an investigation she held into the incidents.
The vote is due to take place this evening (June 6). Here’s all you need to know about tonight’s vote, and what it could mean for Boris’ future and the country:
What caused the vote of no confidence?
To trigger the vote, 54 letters of no confidence had to be issued by Tory MPs, amounting to 15% of the party. This is the threshold that has now been met, according to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs.
How does the vote work and how is the outcome decided?
Tory MPs are set to conduct a secret ballot between 6pm and 8pm tonight in Westminster. It is expected that the result will announced shortly afterwards.
If at least 50% of the party vote ‘no confidence’ in Mr Johnson, he will lose the vote and be forced to stand down. This means that 180 MPs will need to vote against the PM.
Anything under that mark will see Mr Johnson stay as leader and PM, with the party unable to hold another vote for 12 months. Several allies of Mr Johnson, including cabinet ministers, have already come out to say they still back him.