Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was loudly booed in public at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee over the weekend, survived a vote of confidence on Monday, narrowly escaping an unceremonious oust from power.
Johnson’s move to uncouple the UK from the European Union in recent years has fueled discontent. This has been exacerbated by inflation problems, concerns about involvement in the Ukraine conflict, political scandal, immigration issues and energy-related concerns.
Fox News noted that the vote was 211-148 in favor of Johnson remaining in power.
A Conservative Party official Graham Brady reported he received letters from at least 54 Tory legislators calling for a vote of confidence.
According to party rules, the number of “no-confidence letters” was sufficient to initiate the vote.
Fox News reports that “hours later, party lawmakers lined up by the dozen in a corridor at Parliament to cast their ballots in a wood-paneled room, handing over their phones as they entered to ensure secrecy.”
According to Party rules, to retain his position Johnson needed to win the backing of a simple majority of the 359 conservative lawmakers. Failure to do so would require Parliament to choose a new Prime Minister.
According to the rules, a similar challenge cannot be mounted against Johnson for at least a year.
However, CNN reports that Johnson’s future is not secure, and his mandate to rule is tenuous.
“The result was far narrower than even the most pessimistic Johnson allies feared. Ahead of the vote, a margin of 80 was considered by many to be a worst-case-scenario. Now, Johnson supporters are scrambling to spin these results as a victory or deciding what their next move is, as his premiership looks shakier than in any time since he took office.
Even allies admit in private that some of Johnson’s magic has gone. In recent weeks, numerous pro-Johnson MPs have told CNN that they feel his charisma is wearing off, and that the PM increasingly appears tired and out of ideas. They wonder how long they can let a leader so undermined, in their eyes, limp on at the party’s expense.
For now, Boris Johnson can breathe a temporary sigh of relief. But winning this confidence vote only affords him a little breathing room.”
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