UK leaders on borrowed time
June 7, 2022 - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a no-confidence vote taken by lawmakers of his Conservative Party, surviving by a 211-148 margin. However, challenges rarely end well for incumbents.
The discontent within Johnson’s Conservative Party was laid bare on Monday evening (June 6, 2022) when four in 10 Tory members of parliament (41 per cent) voted against him.
“I think it’s a convincing result, a decisive result and what it means is that as a government we can move on and focus on the stuff that I think really matters to people,” Johnson told reporters.
For weeks, pressure has been building on Johnson over so-called “partygate” -- alcohol-fuelled events in his Downing Street office and residence -- when Britain was under strict pandemic lockdowns. A report by senior civil servant Sue Gray found many of the events shouldn’t have been allowed.
The rebellion was more significant than the one suffered by his predecessor Theresa May in 2018. Prime minister May won a confidence vote by 200-117. Despite an 83-vote majority, she resigned in just five months after failing to unite the party over leaving the European Union.
Many Tory MPs fear that Johnson could cost them the next election. Opinion polls suggest the party faces defeat in two by-election votes on June 23.