Boris Johnson facing confidence vote as authority slips away before PMQs
Boris Johnson faces PMQs on Wednesday with his authority as Prime Minister already slipping away, with Conservative insiders briefing that a confidence vote is imminent.
Multiple Tories briefed STV that the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs was close to the 54 letters needed to trigger such a vote, which Boris Johnson is expected to fight.
Theresa May won such a confidence vote in December of 2018 but has resigned as Prime Minister within a year, making way for Boris Johnson.
The threat to Boris Johnson’s leadership comes after a disastrous interview with Sky News in which he claimed that “nobody warned me” that a drinks party during lockdown at Number 10 was against the rules.
Beth Rigby who conducted the interview said that she felt Boris Johnson “looked defeated” as he was questioned.
The Times Scotland political editor Kieran Andrews added that “a senior Tory source says Johnson’s Sky News interview pushed things towards the edge. Apparently it went down ‘like a turd in the trifle’ with MPs”.
Key to the plot against Boris Johnson are the 2019 intake of Conservative MPs who face losing their seats unless there is a rapid uptick in the party’s fortunes. More than 20 met this afternoon to discuss their concerns. The Times counted at least 58 MPs who were now openly critical of Boris Johnson’s leadership.
A Cabinet source meanwhile was reported to have commented: “It’s pretty sickening. They were only elected because of him. Most of them are a load of fucking nobodies. It’s nuts.”
Among Boris Johnson’s critics today were the First Minister of Wales, who in the Senedd criticised the “disgraceful revelations” about parties going on at Downing Street and elsewhere in the UK Government.
“At a time when the whole country was being urged to abide to some of the most significant reductions in their ability to make choices in their own lives, at the very heart of the UK Government, there was an utter disregard for that in their own lives,” he said.
He said that it added to “that sense that there is one rule for the rest of us, and a different rule for those who regard themselves as above and beyond the rules that other people are expected to observe”.
Plaid Cymru Senedd Member Sioned Williams also reacted to the Sky News interview, calling Boris Johnson a “disgrace of a man”.
“Ridiculous, shameful, shameless, unacceptable excuses and lies. Over and over again,” she said.
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