More than 40 Conservative MPs in England raised questions regarding the suitability of prime minister Boris Johnson to continue in his current role in the aftermath of the Partygate scandal.
While 44 Tory MPs publicly questioned Johnson’s eligibility, a report by news agency Guardian revealed that there were 18 MPs who sent letters to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, to formally seek a confidence vote.
Barring those 18, the rest of the anti-Boris lobby demanded that the UK PM step down from his role. Johnson and his allies have sprung to action to lobby dissident MPs and assuage their concerns with a possible no-confidence vote which could be tabled within weeks.
The anti-Boris lobby gained one more member as ex-cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom said that there was a failure of leadership. “Each of my Conservative MP colleagues and I must now decide individually on what is the right course of action that will restore confidence in our government,” Leadsom was quoted as saying by news agency The Guardian
The Guardian in their report said that they have seen statements from two MPs who did not want to be named and 35 more MPs who have openly questioned Johnson, which indicate that Tory MPs are openly questioning Johnson over the Partygate scandal. Former ministers Richard Graham and Mark Garnier and MP Anthony Browne are also among dissidents.
Browne, highlighting that he lost his mother during the Covid-19 pandemic, said that he was dismayed ‘by the behavior shown by the PM and senior staff at No 10’. “There was a poor culture and a failure of senior leadership, both political and official. It is right that they must bear responsibility,” Browne said.
The anti-Boris lobby also said that the Parliament was misled, a view which was also shared by Richard Graham.
Under the rules of the Conservative Party, a no-confidence vote against Johnson would be triggered if 5% of the parliamentary party, amounting to 54 MPs, send their letters to Sir Graham Brady.
Some Tory MPs also said that they are lobbying to ensure that in case a no-confidence motion is tabled then Boris is ousted citing that if he limps to a victory, it may hurt the electoral chances of the Tories when the UK heads to polls.
Tory lawmakers familiar with the developments told The Guardian that no such motion will be tabled for the time being as the UK gears to celebrate Queen’s platinum jubilee weekend.
(with inputs from The Guardian)