Partygate – Will June be the end of Boris Johnson?
Can Boris Johnson Survive Partygate this June? No-Confidence Vote expected.
Due to the impending no-confidence vote over Partygate, Boris Johnson hasn’t had much relaxation over the bank holiday weekend. The prime minister attended a variety of events to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee thanksgiving service, including a ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral, where he witnessed a chorus of boos.
He’s also been putting the closing touches on a significant housing policy address scheduled for Thursday, which will include his own take on help-to-buy.
Mr. Johnson wants us all to know that he is ready to get to work. However, many Tory MPs have been strategizing in between attending jubilee festivities.
Some predict the British Prime Minister will be fighting for re-election in a matter of days.
Police have investigated events of 2020 and 2021 related to Partygate, including civil servants raising a glass behind closed doors.
When Parliament reconvenes on Monday, all eyes will be on Sir Graham Brady. He is the chairman of the Conservative MPs’ shop steward, the 1922 committee.
It will happen if 15% of the party’s MPs, or 54 of them, write letters or emails to him requesting a vote of confidence in the prime minister.
Sir Graham is the only one who knows how many have been sent in thus far. That warning cannot be emphasized; no one knows what will happen in the next few days.
However, many Conservative MPs who spoke to me over the weekend believe the threshold will be crossed within days.
“It’s expected to happen next week,” one of the prime minister’s critics told us. “Colleagues must make a decision – they will have to make up their minds at some point.”
Those feelings were mirrored by several others. Some in government admit that a vote might be called “by accident” in the coming days – not because of a well-coordinated rebellion from a faction of the party, but because enough different groups of MPs are fed up enough to file a letter of no confidence.
Since Parliament adjourned on the same day as the full Sue Gray report was released, a growing number of MPs have spoken out to say that they believe the prime minister should resign. According to the reports, 28 people have confirmed this.
Others are enraged behind closed doors.
“I know there are people who have put letters in who haven’t stated so publicly,” one MP said. Is that enough to force a vote this week? “I don’t know.”
We spoke to one of the ministers, who was outraged by the situation.
Boris Johnson has been described as “sanguine” about the possibility of a confidence vote in the near future.
That’s because, if a vote is held, the threshold for removing the prime minister from the office will be high. A majority of Tory MPs – 180 – would be required.
One of the rebels thinks that a victory for the prime minister was the most likely outcome of a confidence vote this week but that Tory MPs think that the PM lied to Parliament and the British people and showed great failures of leadership and judgment and now they couldn’t sit on their hands any longer and wait for the next crisis before acting.
Others believe that if a tipping point isn’t reached this week, the best chance for rebels will come later this month, following the results of two by-elections sparked by Tory MPs stepping down.
The Conservatives are likely to lose both Wakefield (a prior red wall seat that Labour will wish to reclaim) and Tiverton and Honiton (a previous Tory safe seat in Devon where many believe the Liberal Democrats are poised for another coup).
If the prime minister were to lose in both the north and south of England, more of his MPs would conclude that he is no longer an election winner who can keep them in power.
“If I were them, I’d wait until the by-elections… I’d be astonished if it’s this week,” said one senior MP.
There are other reasons why some Conservative MPs may be reluctant to vote this week. For starters, after winning a confidence vote, the prime minister is immune from further votes of confidence for a year.
That implies that unless the rules are changed, Tory MPs will not have another chance after the by-elections.
Second, even if he narrowly wins the vote, the prime minister is expected to remain in office.
“His opponents should not underestimate this man’s desire to do what he vowed to do,” a source close to the Prime Minister said this weekend. They predicted that he would not readily relinquish control of Downing Street.
Those plotting to assassinate the Prime Minister are reviled by his allies. They claim that his critics lack a viable alternative agenda, a clear leader, and a discernable strategy.
“It’s just a bunch of disgruntled guys with no plan who want to blow up the place.”
The government should concentrate on the cost of living crisis, energy policy, etc according to the source. “I can’t think of anything more stupid or self-indulgent than concluding that a Conservative beauty pageant is more important than all of that.”
But, if that happens, we already know how the prime minister would attempt to win a vote of confidence. Mr. Johnson’s supporters claim that he is the only person who can maintain the wide coalition of voters who gave the party a landslide victory in the last election together.
“Boris Johnson was elected in the north of England… He is aware of the continued support he has and the tremendous mandate he has garnered.”
According to another source: “There is no other option that does not destroy the red wall. It’s a big decision for the party; if you get rid of him, you’re throwing the last few years’ progress out the window “.
The Liberal Democrats are optimistic about their chances in Tiverton and Honiton.
Many of his MPs definitely disagree with him on this. The prime minister’s detractors have spent the last week analyzing polls and deciding that a change is required.
Those who spent time on the doorsteps before the by-elections in Tiverton and Honiton are among the most despondent.
One resident mentioned that the situation in the area was “appalling,” with some supporters stating that they would not vote for the Conservatives again unless the party’s leader changed.
There is no shortage of anxieties among Conservative MPs who may face a similar battle at the next election; in fact, some have determined that they have no chance of winning their seat again.
They will have to make a decision in the coming days or weeks. Whether or not to act – and whether or not to remove the prime minister from office.
Will June be a watershed moment for the Conservative Party or just another snoozer in the long-running leadership saga? As the bank holiday comes close, several Tory MPs are considering their options.
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