Should he stay or should he go? Vote of confidence today for Boris Johnson

by Lorraine Williamson
confidence vote

LONDON – This morning, InSpain.News reported of the confidence vote that will take place this evening between 6.00 pm and 8.00 pm UK time regarding Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Since then, there has been a flurry of activity and speculation as to the outcome of the vote of confidence.

Although he has not posted an official Tweet, according to Sky News, Boris Johnson will address the backbenchers this afternoon. This should take place at around 4.00 pm UK time.

The confidence vote is a secret ballot to allow for privacy and freedom of choice. Furthermore, Boris will need at least half of the vote to go his way if he is to remain in power.

In an interview with Sky News, Jacob Rees-Mogg said that Boris Johnson would have a clear mandate to continue as leader, even if he wins by just one vote. He also Tweeted, “The time for navel-gazing has ended. The British people gave Boris a mandate, Tory MPs would be wise to accept it”. Rees-Mogg is Conservative MP for Northeast Somerset. Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency.

However, a very different response came from Jesse Norman, Ex-Financial Secretary to HM Treasury when he wrote a letter to Boris Johnson advising he could no longer support him as PM.

Alexander Jesse Norman is a British Conservative Party politician. He served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2021. And also, as the MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire since 2010. Interestingly, he is married to Kate Bingham (Dame Catherine Elizabeth Bingham DBE).

Bingham has been a managing partner at a venture capital firm, SV Health Investors since 1991. In 2020, Bingham was Chair of the UK Government’s Vaccine Taskforce, steering procurement of vaccines and the strategy for their deployment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 15% presented letter requesting confidence vote

Under Conservative Party rules, a vote to retain or remove the current leader MUST be held if more than 15% of the party´s MPs request it by letter. Sir Graham Brady acts as an impartial “facilitator” chairman of the 1922 Committee. And as such, he oversees the party’s leadership challenges. If Johnson loses the vote he will step down as Prime Minister of the UK and a new leader would, therefore, be elected.

Platinum Jubilee boos

Boris and wife, Carrie were booed by onlookers as they arrived at the Thanksgiving service for the Queen´s Platinum Jubilee at St Paul´s Cathedral. Video captured by Guardian News.

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Who are the potential candidates should Boris lose the confidence vote?

Liz Truss?

Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss has been elevated during the Ukrainian invasion, and her popularity has grown because of the positive press she has received. However, Truss Tweeted, “The Prime Minister has my 100% backing in today’s vote and I strongly encourage colleagues to support him. He has delivered on covid recovery and supporting Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. He has apologised for mistakes made. We must now focus on economic growth”.

Ben Wallace?

UK Secretary of State for Defence & MP for Wyre and Preston North Wallace Tweeted, “In 2019 Boris won with a majority of 80. He has delivered victories in seats we have never held before. On Covid, on Ukraine he has helped deliver a world leading response. He has my full confidence”.

The ex-soldier would also be the first former MSP to become a Tory leader. Wallace represented Northeast Scotland between 1999 and 2003.

Rishi Sunak?

Chancellor of the Exchequer was favourite to succeed Boris Johnson last year. However, recent events regarding “party gate” and his wife´s tax position have damaged his reputation. Furthermore, MPs are not happy with his increase in national insurance contributions.

Sunak Tweeted his support for Johnson, “from the vaccine rollout to our response to Russian aggression, the PM has shown the strong leadership our country needs. I am backing him today and will continue to back him as we focus on growing the economy, tackling the cost of living, and clearing the Covid backlogs”.

Jeremy Hunt?

Hunt stood against Boris Johnson back in 2019. Furthermore, today, he Tweeted, “the Conservative Party must now decide if it wishes to change its leader. Because of the situation in Ukraine this was not a debate I wanted to have now but under our rules we must do that.

Penny Mordaunt?

Some UK press see Trade Minister Mordaunt as an outside contender, and therefore, the wild card in the race. She has not made any official Tweet on the confidence vote so far.

Tom Tugendhat?

MP for Tonbridge, Edenbridge and Malling. Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee Tugendhat put his hat in the ring earlier on when doubts were cast regarding confidence in Boris Johnson remaining as Prime Minister. However, as yet, there has been no formal response from him.

Polls

Opinium Research will continue to Tweet the latest poll updates. However, the first snap poll results show as follows;

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