Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Back Bank Legislative Committee, said Monday in a statement that the number of Conservative MPs calling for a vote had reached the required threshold. Voting will take place Monday between 6pm and 8pm local time.
If 180 Conservative lawmakers, a simple majority, vote against Johnson, he will step down as leader of the Conservative Party government and be removed from office less than three years after a landslide general election.
If Johnson wins the vote, he will remain as party leader and prime minister.
Johnson’s presidency has been shaken by the so-called “Partygate” scandal, with months of allegations of parties and meetings at the heart of his government during various stages of pandemic confinement eroding confidence in his leadership. , published late last month, found a culture of partying and socializing among Johnson’s staff while millions of Britons were banned from seeing their friends and family. He has also been criticized for his response to a cost-of-living crisis.
A Conservative MP, Jesse Norman, told Johnson that his tenure “not only insults the electorate … it makes a decisive change of government much more likely in the next election”.
Norman, who represents the constituency of Hereford and South Herefordshire, released his letter of censure shortly before the vote was announced on Monday.
While he said the Prime Minister’s response to Sue Gray’s report was “grotesque”, most of his letter focused on Johnson’s other policies, including the government’s new policy of sending some asylum seekers in Rwanda, which Norman described as “ugly, probably counterproductive”. and of dubious legality ”.
Johnson’s approval ratings have been falling and there has been a growing feeling among some parts of his Conservative Party in government that it is becoming a responsibility. The party faces two difficult by-elections later this month.
A Downing Street spokesman said Monday that Johnson “appreciates the opportunity to present his case to lawmakers.”
“Tonight is an opportunity to end months of speculation and allow the government to draw a line and move forward, meeting the people’s priorities,” the spokesman said, adding that Johnson will “remember.” [the MPs] that when they are united and focus on issues that matter to voters there is no more formidable political force. “
Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labor Party, has urged Conservative MPs to oust Johnson. Speaking to LBC radio, he said: “I think they have to show some leadership and vote against the prime minister. He has lost confidence in the country. I think that’s pretty clear with all the evidence I’ve seen.”
To the displeasure of the public, the Prime Minister was booed on Friday by some members of the public when he arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral in London for a Thanksgiving service held as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. of the queen.
Johnson’s supporters have been quick to defend themselves in recent weeks, arguing that this is not the right time to trigger a leadership competition given the country’s many crises, including the Ukrainian war.
Several of Johnson’s top ministers have already expressed their support for him. UK Secretary of State Liz Truss said he was firmly behind Johnson. “The Prime Minister has my full support in today’s vote and I strongly encourage his colleagues to support him,” Truss posted on Twitter.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak also tweeted that he would support Johnson’s vote and “will continue to support him as we focus on growing the economy, addressing the cost of living and eliminating Covid delays.”
Under Conservative Party rules, if MPs want to get rid of their leader, they present a confidential letter of censure to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, a group of lawmakers who do not hold government office. The process is turbulent: the letters are kept secret and the chair, currently Brady, does not even reveal how many have been delivered.
When 15% of Conservative legislators have sent letters, a vote of confidence is triggered among all Conservative legislators. The current composition of the House of Commons means that at least 54 deputies have submitted letters of censure.
A defeat in Monday’s vote would effectively end the career of one of the UK’s most prominent post-war politicians. In that case, he would probably remain as prime minister until a new Conservative candidate was elected to lead the party; at that time, Johnson would inform the Queen of his intention to resign as Prime Minister and would recommend that whoever won the contest be invited to form a government.
If Johnson wins the vote comfortably, it could be said that he could come out stronger within his party, which has struggled to identify a rival politician to challenge Johnson in recent months.
A limited victory, on the other hand, would tarnish Johnson’s reputation even if he did not overthrow his government. Conservatives face two by-elections in late June after two of their MPs were forced to resign amid their own scandals: disappointing results could increase pressure on Johnson ahead of national general election scheduled for 2024.
Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, was the last incumbent British leader to face a censorship vote from her own party. May narrowly survived that vote, convened amid months of chaos over her doomed Brexit deal, but eventually resigned months later.
The holiday scandal is not the first to damage Johnson’s reputation. He has been prosecuted on charges of accepting inappropriate donations to fund a renovation of his Downing Street apartment, while his government has been accused of awarding lucrative Covid-19 contracts to people with ties to the Conservative Party. Johnson’s spokesman insisted that he “acted in accordance with the rules at all times.”
CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite contributed to the reports.