By Connor Steel
BORIS JOHNSON has officially won a confidence vote in his Conservative Party leadership following a nail-biting Monday evening, with the Prime Minister winning a comfortable majority of support from his Government colleagues including Fareham MP and Attorney General Suella Braverman.
Winning by a margin of 211-148 votes, it means that Mr Johnson remains as PM and leader of the Conservative Party; furthermore staving off the threat of another formal confidence vote in his leadership for another twelve months pending any potential rule changes within his political party.
But it wasn’t the perfect night for the PM as he faced a larger than expected rebellion of his colleagues, with 148 saying they had no confidence in his leadership. Unofficial calculations show that this amounts to 41% of the party, a far bigger figure than ex-Prime Minister Theresa May in December 2019. On this occasion she won almost 2/3 of support as she battled to resolve Brexit, only to resign just six months later.
Frustration has built in the leadership of Boris Johnson over recent months, with the majority of anger coming from the ‘partygate’ debacle. However the recent results from council elections, the Owen Paterson scandal and the Government’s delay in reacting to the cost of living crisis are believed to have paid a factor in the gradual loss of support despite his positive work with Ukrainian counterparts.
The vote of no confidence was announced just after 8am on Monday morning (June 6) as the threshold of 54 MPs submitted letters to Sir Graham Brady; the chair of the 1922 Committee behind the Conservative Party. It came as Parliament returned to Westminster after recess for the Queen’s Jubilee and confirmed speculation that such a vote would take place this week; with each MP in the party getting a secret ballot.
This didn’t stop MPs citing their thoughts on whether they were voting for or against Mr Johnson throughout the day, with Suella Braverman seemingly offering support to her leader. She tweeted on Monday: “Boris Johnson has my full support. He is delivering for our country: rebuilding after Covid, supporting families with the cost of living and restoring UK leadership around the world. Let’s unite and work together as a team.”
It is not known exactly how Gosport MP Dame Caroline Dinenage voted with no public statements before the vote. However she did share her thoughts on her website after the results were announced shortly after 9pm, writing: “This evening Conservative Members of Parliament conducted a vote to decide if, as a Party, the majority still have confidence in the Prime Minister’s leadership.”
“The majority voted for Boris Johnson to continue in his role as Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. I have spent the day listening to the views of my constituents and local Conservatives in Gosport, Lee on the Solent, Stubbington and Hill Head. I am grateful to everyone who has taken the time to send me their thoughts, which I reflected in my own vote.”
She concluded her short online statement by saying: ”I know that many feel extremely strongly about this issue on both sides of the argument, however, I think it’s important that we all now respect the democratic decision, so that we can move forward, focusing on the pressing issues that face us all.”
Readers can follow the ongoing developments of Monday evening’s vote by visiting www.bbc.co.uk or www.news.sky.com alongside other media broadcasters; whilst they are encouraged to check their MPs social media and website for more thoughts from their representatives in Westminster.
PICTURED BY SHUTTERSTOCK: PM addresses the nation in his COVID-19 speech on March 23, 2020.