Boris Johnson won the confidence vote in his leadership on Monday night with a margin of 211 to 148. The vote came after 15 per cent of Tory MPs said they could no longer support him, following the publication of details on lockdown-busting Downing Street parties. The result has stirred uproar amongst the opposition, which begs the question; can Labour table their own no confidence vote?
Under Conservative Party rules, a vote of no confidence is triggered when 15 percent of the party submits letters to the 1922 Committee Chairman demanding a change in leadership.
There are currently 359 Conservative MPs, which means 54 letters of no confidence were required to trigger the ballot.
The letters in the ballot are confidential, and only Committee Chairman Sir Graham Brady has access.
In order to survive the ballot, Mr Johnson needed 180 votes of confidence, which equates to half of his MPs as well as one additional.
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If the Prime Minister in question were to win, they can continue as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, and another vote of no confidence would not be able to be called for another year.
But if they were to lose, the Prime Minister would have to resign. This would then trigger a leadership contest amongst the Conservative Party for the new Prime Minister.
Following tonight’s vote, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Mr Johnson was “utterly unfit for the great office he holds” and accused Tory MPs of ignoring the British public.
He said: “The Conservative Government now believes that breaking the law is no impediment to making the law.”
Can Labour call a vote of no confidence on the Tory party?
Labour can table a vote of no confidence on the Conservative Party using the wording required under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 (FTPA), which could trigger a general election.
This would typically be given priority by the Government to debate and vote on in the House of Commons.
The last time this motion was laid was by previous Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in 2019, after the Government lost a Commons vote to secure parliamentary backing for its deal for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The debate was held the day after it was tabled, however, the House rejected the motion against Theresa May’s leadership with a vote of 325 to 306.