Boris Johnson faces a vote of no confidence from Tory MPs
Boris Johnson is facing a vote of no confidence from Tory MPs amid cross-party anger over revelations about the lockdown parties in Downing Street.
Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 backbench committee, confirmed in a statement that he had now received the 54 letters from Tory MPs needed to trigger a vote.
The vote – by secret ballot – will take place in Westminster on Monday between 6pm and 8pm, with counting due to take place immediately afterwards.
It comes after a steady stream of Tory MPs publicly called on the Prime Minister to stand down following Sue Gray’s report into breaches of Covid regulations in No 10 and Whitehall.
However, to oust the prime minister the rebels will need 180 MPs, and Mr Johnson’s allies have made clear he is determined to fight to stay.
Speaking shortly after Sir Graham made his announcement, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News: ‘If there is (a vote), the Prime Minister will stand up and defend his corner with a very, very solid case.”
Sir Graham said he informed Mr Johnson on Sunday that the parliamentary party’s 15% threshold calling for the vote had been exceeded.
“I followed the rules we have in place. I briefed the prime minister yesterday and we agreed on the timing of the vote of confidence,” he said.
“He shared my view, which is also in line with the rules we have in place, that this vote should take place as soon as it could reasonably take place and that would be today.”
A spokeswoman for No 10 said: ‘Tonight is an opportunity to put an end to months of speculation and allow the government to draw a line and move forward, respecting the people’s priorities.
“The Prime Minister welcomes the opportunity to make his case to MPs and will remind them that when they are united and focused on the issues that matter to voters, there is no more political strength. tremendous.”
Earlier, former cabinet minister Jesse Norman became the latest Tory MP to go public with his call for Mr Johnson’s departure.
In a scathing letter posted on social media, he said the Prime Minister had presided over ‘a culture of occasional law-breaking’ in Number 10 and that his claim to be substantiated by Ms Gray’s report was ‘grotesque “.
He said the government’s current priorities were “deeply questionable”, that its policy of outsourcing asylum processing to Rwanda was “ugly”, while any breach of the Northern Ireland Protocol would be “politically reckless and almost certainly illegal”.
“Neither the Conservative Party nor this country can afford to waste the next two years adrift and distracted by endless debate about you and your leadership,” he said.
“For you to prolong this charade by staying in power not only insults the electorate and the tens of thousands of people who support, volunteer, represent and campaign for our party; this makes a decisive change of government in the next election much more likely. It is potentially catastrophic for this country.