Britain’s prime minister won the no-confidence vote that could have seen him removed from power brought against him by members of parliament from his own party last night, but he’s not out of trouble yet.
Conservative members of parliament (MPs) voted 211-148 in favor of keeping Johnson as their leader and prime minister. He only needed a majority of one to scrape through, but many still say the number of those in his party who have lost faith in the prime minister is too high for him to carry on much longer.
Yesterday, the general mood among MPs and political commentators was that Johnson would not resign as Conservative leader even if he had only narrowly won the vote.
In an interview with Sky News, he called the result, which only swung 40 percent in his favor “decisive” and vowed to get on with the job at hand:
“I think it’s an extremely good, positive, conclusive, decisive result which enables us to move on, to unite and to focus on delivery [of services]”.
We need to come together as a party and focus on what this government is doing to help people with the cost of living, to clear the COVID backlogs and to make our streets safer.
We will continue to unite, level up and strengthen our economy. pic.twitter.com/vIWK81dDJC
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) June 6, 2022
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The vote comes after the scandal dubbed Partygate by the British press which saw Johnson and members of his staff holding a boozy birthday party for Johnson in Downing Street despite Johnson’s own Covid restrictions outlawing non-essential gatherings.
Johnson, who led the Conservative Vote Leave campaign in support of Britain leaving the European Union was elected as Britain’s prime minister on the back of his ‘Get Brexit Done’ pledge in 2019.
The Tories won a historic, record-breaking majority on the back of the pro-Brexit campaign as Brits were anxious for Brexit policies to finally be implemented.
But not every MP in the Tory Party supported Brexit. Jeremy Hunt, who lost the last Conservative Party leadership election to Johnson and who voted for Britain to remain in the EU said that he would be “voting for change” yesterday.
Hunt was the most senior Tory MP to call for Johnson’s resignation, sparking rumors that he could have his eye on the top seat.
‘I think not getting the message from party members that they don’t want him [Jeremy Hunt] to be leader is a mistake.’
Jacob Rees-Mogg says Jeremy Hunt is wrong to urge Tory MPs to vote no confidence in Boris Johnson.
— GB News (@GBNEWS) June 6, 2022
Despite losing the vote last night, many of Johnson’s critics say that the 40-60 split suggests he’s hanging on by a thread. The left is delighting in the prospect of a weakened Conservative hand, while many on the right became disillusioned with Johnson after his strict Covid restrictions and inability to control illegal immigration.
The prime minister was seen walking his dog Dilyn early this morning before addressing his cabinet, thanking them for fighting for him and ordering MPs to “get on with the job”.
With the Covid pandemic out of the way, the Queen’s Jubilee over, and the Ukraine conflict leveling into semi-stability, Johnson will probably use this opportunity to knuckle down and address some of the major concerns plaguing Britain, including the cost of living crisis and his so-far empty promise to start sending illegal immigrants to Rwanda.
Johnson supporter and cabinet minister Michael Gove said:
“Now we must carry out what we were elected to deliver – leveling up, cutting crime, securing the benefits of Brexit, and improving public services.
“Let’s get on with delivery and focus on the people’s priorities.”