Will there be a vote of no confidence? Government blocks Labour’s plan for vote on Boris Johnson

The Government has blocked a no confidence vote from Labour, for the reason that Boris Johnson has “already resigned”

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Labour has accused the Government of “running scared” after it blocked plans Sir Keir Starmer’s party to stage a no confidence vote in Boris Johnson and his administration.

A Labour spokeswoman said it was “unprecedented” for ministers not to allow parliamentary time for a vote of confidence which the party had been seeking on Wednesday (13 July).

A Government spokesman hit back, accusing Labour of “playing politics” by tabling a motion of no confidence in the Government and the Prime Minister when Boris Johnson had already resigned.

Labour was preparing to force a confidence vote which would challenge Tory MPs to oust the Prime Minister whilst the leadership contest for the next Conservative leader plays out.

That now looks unlikely.

The move came after Mr Johnson announced his resignation from office last week, but controversially declared he would stay on as PM until his replacement is decided.

Labour will table a no confidence motion in Boris Johnson’s government later today (Photo: Getty Images)Labour will table a no confidence motion in Boris Johnson’s government later today (Photo: Getty Images)
Labour will table a no confidence motion in Boris Johnson’s government later today (Photo: Getty Images)

The Conservative 1922 Committee has since confirmed the new Prime Minister will be announced on 5 September.

What’s been said?

A Government spokesperson said: “As the Prime Minister has already resigned and a leadership process is under way we do not feel this is a valuable use of parliamentary time,” the spokesman said.

“Should Labour amend their motion appropriately, they can have the next business day for it to be debated.”

Labour, however, said the action represented a “flagrant abuse of power to protect a discredited Prime Minister” and called on the Tory leadership candidates to denounce it.

“This clapped-out Government is running scared and refusing to allow time to debate Labour’s vote of no confidence motion,” a spokeswoman said.

“This is totally unprecedented. Yet again the Tories are changing the rules to protect their own dodgy mates.”

What is a vote of no confidence?

A motion of no confidence is a statement or vote about whether a person in a position of responsibility is still deemed fit to hold that position.

This may take place because they are considered inadequate in some aspect, they have failed to carry out their obligations, or they have made decisions that other members feel to be detrimental.

If a motion of no confidence is passed, lawmakers from all parties represented in parliament can vote on whether the government - under Mr Johnson - should continue in office.

It needs a simple majority to pass - so it only requires one more MP to vote in favour of it than those who oppose it.

If the government wins the no confidence motion, it carries on as before.

If the government loses the vote however, convention says that either the monarch must invite another leader to form a government or a snap election is called.

Mr Johnson faced a vote of no confidence in June, which he won by 211 to 148.

When could a confidence vote take place?

Labour tabled the motion at some point today (12 July), with a view to holding the vote as early as tomorrow (13 July).

That will now not go ahead.

What would a vote of no confidence mean for Boris Johnson?

A vote of no confidence would have significant repercussions for the Prime Minister as his colleagues would be forced to either support or oppose his Government, at a time when his reputation is already in trouble.

It also comes after several Tory MPs have already publicly stated that Mr Johnson has lost their confidence as the country’s leader - with many previously calling for him to resign.

However, to vote against Mr Johnson would risk triggering a general election - meaning the Conservative Party could lose control of government.

The Tories still have a large majority in parliament, so it would require a significant number of Conservatives voting against their own government for it to pass.

Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, previously threatened the vote of no confidence in order to prevent “this nonsense about clinging on for a few months”.