Rebellion grows

Confidence vote on Johnson to be held today

Boris Johnson after delivery Gray speech
Boris Johnson is facing the prospect of being ousted from office

A confidence vote in the Prime minister Boris Johnson will be held today after it was confirmed the number of letters submitted requesting he stand down is already higher than the 54 required.

One report suggested 67 MPs have written to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Tories. The vote will be held between 6pm and 8pm tonight with the result expected about 9pm.

If 180 Conservative MPs says he should go, there will be a leadership contest. Should Mr Johnson win a confidence vote he will be safe for at least another year.

As the rebellion within the party grows, Mr Johnson faced a public backlash during the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday when booing was heard as he entered St Paul’s Cathedral for the Queen’s Thanksgiving Service.

Sir Graham Brady confirming the threshold has been passed

Polling shows the Conservatives likely to lose a by-election in Wakefield, one of tens of constituencies Mr Johnson took from Labour in the so-called Red Wall during his 2019 landslide general election win.

The Tiverton and Honiton by-election due to be held on the same day, 23 June is likely to be taken by the Liberal Democrats.

The by-elections will be the first electoral test for the Tories since publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s report on the lockdown rule-breaching events in Downing Street and Whitehall.

Sir Graham Brady’s statement

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi warned Tory MPs last night they were plotting a course for disaster by seeking to remove Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

Mer Zahawi said the public “do not vote for divided teams” – and unless the party unites it could go down to a defeat as catastrophic as Tony Blair’s Labour landslide of 1997.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Mr Johnson would lead the Conservatives into a general election victory because the issues that “matter to people” are Brexit and economic growth.

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