Injured, British Boris Johnson has just survived his party’s vote of confidence

  • 148 of the 359 Conservative lawmakers vote against Johnson
  • “Partygate” aggravates the mood of the Prime Minister’s party

LONDON, June 6 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a vote of confidence on Monday, but a major rebellion in his Conservative Party over the so-called “partygate” scandal struck a blow to his authority. and leaves him with a struggle to win. ample rear support.

Johnson, who won a landslide election victory in 2019, has come under increasing pressure after he and staff held alcohol parties at his Downing Street office and residence when Britain was under strict blockade due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was greeted with a chorus of taunts and boos, and some muted applause, at events to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee in recent days.

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Several lawmakers said the vote, in which 211 lawmakers voted in favor of Johnson against 148, was worse than expected for a prime minister, once seemingly unassailable after gaining the largest majority in the Conservatives. more than three decades.

“Boris Johnson will be relieved by this vote. But he will also understand that the next priority is to rebuild party cohesion,” David Jones, a former minister, told Reuters. “I’m sure he’ll live up to the challenge.”

Others were less optimistic, with a Conservative lawmaker saying on condition of anonymity, “It’s clearly a lot worse than most people expected. But it’s too early to tell what will happen now.”

Roger Gale, a longtime critic of Johnson, urged the Prime Minister “to return to Downing Street tonight and consider very carefully where he is going from here.”

By winning the vote of confidence, Johnson has secured a 12-month suspension when lawmakers cannot present another challenge. But her predecessor Theresa May got better results in her 2018 vote of confidence only to resign six months later. Read more

Johnson said after the vote that he was not interested in holding early national elections.

“I think it’s a convincing result, a decisive result, and what it means is that as a government we can move forward and focus on the things that I think really matter to the people,” he told reporters.

Dozens of Conservative lawmakers have expressed concern that Johnson, 57, has lost his authority to rule Britain, which faces the risk of recession, rising fuel and food prices and the chaos of Britain. trips caused by the strike in the capital London.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts during Queen Elizabeth’s platinum party at Buckingham Palace in London, UK on June 4, 2022. Paul Ellis / Pool via REUTERS

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But his cabinet gathered around him and highlighted what they said were the government’s achievements: the rapid deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and the UK’s response to Ukraine’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia.

Johnson vs. May: Comparison of votes of confidence

DRAW A LINE?

Most Conservative lawmakers – at least 180 – would have had to vote against Johnson to be ousted.

Earlier, a spokesman for Johnson’s office in Downing Street said the vote “would allow the government to draw a line and move on” and that the prime minister praised the opportunity to present his case to lawmakers. Read more

Johnson, the former mayor of London, came to power in Westminster as the face of the Brexit campaign in a 2016 referendum and won the 2019 election with the slogan “get Brexit”.

Brexit Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg told Sky News that completing the UK’s exit from the European Union would be “significantly at risk without its push and energy”.

Johnson has focused on Brussels on Northern Ireland, raising the prospect of more barriers to British trade and alarming leaders in Ireland, Europe and the United States about the risks to the province’s peace agreement. 1998.

But it was months of stories about what happened on Downing Street, including alcohol-induced fights and vomiting, that prevented many people from saying goodbye to their loved ones at funerals. the real damage.

The move prompted lawmakers on different sides of the party to reveal that they had turned against its leader. A former ally accused the prime minister of insulting both the electorate and the party while remaining in power.

“You have presided over a culture of accidental breach of the law at 10 Downing Street in relation to COVID,” Jesse Norman, a former junior minister, said before the vote.

Johnson’s anti-corruption chief John Penrose also resigned.

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Additional reports by David Milliken, William James, Alistair Smout, Farouq Suleiman and Helena Williams; Edited by William Schomberg and Grant McCool

Our standards: Thomson Reuters’ principles of trust.

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