British PM Johnson to face vote of confidence after ‘partygate’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face a no-confidence vote by his own party’s lawmakers on Monday evening, the party’s 1922 Committee chairperson Sir Graham Bradley said.

The announcement came after speculations over the Jubilee weekend that the threshold of 15% MPs was reached.

Bradley said the confidence vote will be held this evening between 6 pm and 8 pm and the result will be announced shortly after.

British Foreign Minister Liz Truss said she was backing Johnson in a confidence vote among lawmakers from their Conservative Party. “The Prime Minister has my 100% backing in today’s vote and I strongly encourage colleagues to support him,” Truss said on Twitter.

“He has delivered on COVID-19 recovery and supporting Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. He has apologized for mistakes made. We must now focus on economic growth.”

Truss has been considered a potential successor to Johnson.

If Johnson loses the vote among the 359 Conservative lawmakers, he will be replaced as Conservative leader and prime minister. If he wins, he cannot face another challenge for a year.

Johnson has been struggling to turn a page on months of ethics scandals, most notably over rule-breaking parties in government buildings during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Late last month, an investigator’s report on what has become known as “partygate” slammed a culture of rule-breaking inside the prime minister’s No. 10 Downing Street office.

Civil service investigator Sue Gray described alcohol-fueled bashes held by Downing Street staff members in 2020 and 2021 when the pandemic restrictions prevented UK residents from socializing or even visiting dying relatives.

Gray said the “senior leadership team” must bear responsibility for “failures of leadership and judgment.”

The prime minister said he was “humbled” and took “full responsibility” – but insisted it was now time to “move on” and focus on Britain’s battered economy and the war in Ukraine.

But a growing number of Conservatives feel that Johnson, the charismatic leader who won them a huge parliamentary majority in 2019, is now a liability.

If Johnson is you, it would spark a Conservative leadership contest, in which several prominent government ministers are likely to run.

Conservative lawmaker Roger Gale, a Johnson critic, said, “we have some very good alternatives to the prime minister, so we’re not short of choice.

“Any single one of those people, in my view, would make a better prime minister than the one we’ve got at the moment,” he told the BBC.

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