Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Damaged, UK's Boris Johnson scrapes win in party confidence vote

Economy Jun 07, 2022 07:51AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts during Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Party, at Buckingham Palace, in London, Britain, June 4, 2022. Paul Ellis/Pool via REUTERS 2/2

By Elizabeth Piper and Andrew MacAskill

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a confidence vote on Monday but a large rebellion in his Conservative Party over the so-called "partygate" scandal dealt a blow to his authority and leaves him with a struggle to win back support.

Johnson, who scored a sweeping election victory in 2019, has been under increasing pressure after he and staff held alcohol-fuelled parties in his Downing Street office and residence when Britain was under lockdowns to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vote was a blow to Johnson, with 41% of his lawmakers casting ballots against his leadership after months of scandals and gaffes that has raised questions over his authority to govern Britain and knocked his standing among the public.

But Johnson, a master of political comebacks, instead described the vote as a "decisive result" meaning that "as a government we can move on and focus on the stuff that I think really matters to people".

"We can focus on what we're doing to help people with the cost of living, what we're doing to clear the COVID backlogs, what we're doing to make streets and communities safer by putting more police out," said Johnson, who for weeks has tried to move the national conversation away from "partygate".

It is a change of fortune for Johnson and underlines the depth of anger against him. He was met with a chorus of jeers and boos, and some muted cheers, at events to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth in recent days.

Several lawmakers said the vote, which saw 211 lawmakers cast ballots in favour of Johnson against 148, was worse than expected for a prime minister, once seemingly unassailable after winning the Conservatives' largest majority in more than three decades.

"Boris Johnson will be relieved at this vote. But he will also understand that the next priority is to rebuild the cohesion of the party," David Jones, a former minister, told Reuters. "I am sure he will be equal to the challenge."

Others were less optimistic, with one Conservative lawmaker saying on condition of anonymity: "It is clearly much worse than most people were expecting. But it is too early to say what will happens now."

Roger Gale, a long-time critic of Johnson, urged the prime minister "to go back to Downing Street tonight and consider very carefully where he goes from here".

12-MONTH REPRIEVE

By winning the confidence vote, Johnson has secured a reprieve for 12 months when lawmakers cannot bring another challenge. But his predecessor Theresa May scored better in her 2018 confidence vote only to resign six months later.

Dozens of Conservative lawmakers have voiced concern over whether Johnson, 57, has lost his authority to govern Britain, which is facing the risk of recession, rising fuel and food prices and strike-inflicted travel chaos in the capital London.

But his Cabinet rallied around him and highlighted what they said were the successes of the government: a quick rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations and Britain's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

(GRAPHIC-Johnson vs May: confidence votes compared: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/polling/myvmnwlgrpr/Pasted%20image%201654547616367.png)

A majority of the Conservatives' lawmakers - at least 180 - would have had to vote against Johnson for him to be removed.

Earlier, a spokesperson for Johnson's Downing Street office said the vote would "allow the government to draw a line and move on" and that the prime minister welcomed the opportunity to make his case to lawmakers.

Johnson, a former London mayor, rose to power at Westminster as the face of the Brexit campaign in a 2016 referendum, and won the 2019 election with the slogan to "get Brexit done".

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Brexit opportunities minister, told Sky News that completing Britain's departure from the European Union would be "significantly at risk without his drive and energy".

Johnson has locked horns with Brussels over Northern Ireland, raising the prospect of more barriers for British trade and alarming leaders in Ireland, Europe and the United States about risks to the province's 1998 peace deal.

But it was the months of stories of what went on in Downing Street, including fights and alcohol-induced vomiting, when many people were prevented from saying goodbye to loved ones at funerals, that did the real damage.

The move led to lawmakers from different wings of the party revealing that they had turned against their leader. One former ally accused the prime minister of insulting both the electorate and the party by staying in power.

"You have presided over a culture of casual law-breaking at 10 Downing Street in relation to COVID," Jesse Norman, a former junior minister, said before the vote.

Johnson's anti-corruption chief John Penrose also quit.

Damaged, UK's Boris Johnson scrapes win in party confidence vote
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (3)
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jun 07, 2022 10:45AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
in 2 week there are 2 by elections to replace 2 Tory MPs (both gone due to ******scandals), in every polls conducted so far the Conservatives will lose big in both areas (one in Northern England and one in Southwest), so at this point Labour probably prefers Boris Johnson sticks around as their punching bag.......
Tyler Phillis
Tyler Phillis Jun 06, 2022 7:48PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
This episode reminds me of conservative efforts to impeach Bill Clinton…for getting a BJ in the Oval Office.
Todd Kacsmar
Todd Kacsmar Jun 06, 2022 7:48PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
It was for getting a BJ it was for Iying under oath Use your brain
Jas Sanghera
Jas Sanghera Jun 06, 2022 7:48PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
carlos guo  which country this hunter guy leading,anyway.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jun 06, 2022 7:48PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Jas Sanghera  guys like Carlos have no concept of reality without mentioning Hunter or Hillary every time something doesn't look good for the conservatives
Paco Venezia
Paco Venezia Jun 06, 2022 2:06AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
🙀🙀👍
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email