Will there be a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson and what is the threshold of letters to 1922 committee?

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More Tory MPs have written to the 1922 committee to lodge their letter of no confidence against Boris Johnson following the publication of the Sue Gray report

A confidence vote in the Prime Minister could be announced this week as allies of Boris Johnson appeared braced for a test of his leadership.

A minister admitted the Conservative Party “may well” hold a vote on whether to keep Mr Johnson as leader, but backed him to “face down” the rebels calling for him to quit.

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Almost 30 Tory MPs have publicly urged the PM to resign following the publication of the Sue Gray report which detailed damning revelations about Downing Street parties held during lockdown.

Mr Johnson has also faced public backlash during the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend, including being booed on Friday by some sections of a crowd during his arrival at a thanksgiving service for the Queen at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Reports have suggested more MPs privately want Mr Johnson to go and that enough letters demanding a confidence vote have been submitted to trigger such a showdown.

The number of Tory MPs posting a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson keeps rising, threatening a leadership contest for the under-pressure leader. (Credit: Getty Images)The number of Tory MPs posting a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson keeps rising, threatening a leadership contest for the under-pressure leader. (Credit: Getty Images)
The number of Tory MPs posting a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson keeps rising, threatening a leadership contest for the under-pressure leader. (Credit: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Will Boris Johnson face a vote of confidence?

The past few days has seen the number of Tory MPs publically calling on Mr Johnson to resign.

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Ex-Tory leader Willian Hauge stated that the Prime Minister could face “real trouble” in the shape of a ballot on his leadership

Mr Hauge said that the vote could happen “either next week or around the end of June”, with attitudes shifting among politicians in the party.

40 Conservative MPs have publically criticised Boris Johnson in light of the Partygate scandal, after the party’s popularity began sinking in the polls.

Most notably, Angela Leadsom, a formally staunch support of Mr Johnson, hinted to the fact that she will be posting a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

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In a letter to her Northampton constituents, Ms Leadsom said: “I am determined to be clear about my views as a matter of personal integrity - the conclusion I have drawn from the Sue Gray report is that there have been unacceptable failings of leadership that cannot be tolerated and are the responsibility of the prime minister.

“Each of my Conservative MP colleagues and I must now decide individually on what is the right course of action that will restore confidence in our government.”

Her words echo those of other prominent Tories, including Sir Roger Gale, Tobias Ellwood and John Stevenson.

However, Mr Johnson’s cabinet have downplayed any threat of a vote of no confidence.

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Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis told Sky News that he did not believe the Prime Minister will face a ballot on his leadership.

He said: “I don’t think he will, actually.

“I don’t think it’s in the interests of the country, I don’t think it’s in the interests of the Conservative Party. No, I don’t think we will see that happen”.

How many letters are needed to trigger a vote of no confidence?

In order to trigger a vote of no confidence in a Tory leader, Conservative MPs must send a letter of no confidence to the 1922 committee.

At least 15% of sitting Tory MPs must send a letter in order for a vote to be called. As of 2022, this means that 54 letters must be received.

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So far, 27 MPs have confirmed that they have sent a letter, with other alluding to the fact that they have written the letter.

Only Sir Graham knows how many letters have been received, but he does not reveal the number until publicly declaring the threshold has been reached.

What is the 1922 committee - and what has it said about the situation?

The 1922 Committee is made up of Tory backbenchers, allowing such MPs to discuss their views on current issues within the party separately from the frontbench MPs, with no fear of being reprimanded by those higher up in the party.

Memebrs of the committee meet weekly to discuss issues relating to the party at that point in time.

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Currently the committee chair is Sir Graham Brady, MP for Altrincham and Sale West. The chairman is the only person to know the number of letters that has been sent to the committee.

Although the number is not publicly revealed until the threshold is met, Sir Graham fuelled rumours of a possible vote of no confidence after speaking to reporters.

When asked by ITV News how many letters had been received, Sir Graham replied: “It’s a confidential process and I will retain my discretion and I’ll say nothing more at the moment.”

He was then asked if he expected to be busy in the next few day, to which he replied: “I’m always busy.”

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