Boris Johnson Survives Leadership Challenge in Snap Party Poll
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson won his confidence vote Monday evening, a lightning poll of top Conservatives after a challenge was announced just this morning.
Sir Graham Brady, the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) and party functionary responsible for dealing with leadership challenges procedure spoke from the House of Commons Monday night to reveal that of 359 votes cast, 211 had confidence in the Prime Minister. Some 148 voted against his leadership, giving him a majority of 63, a reasonably clear victory.
The result means Boris Johnson has survived this attempt on his leadership, and by the rules of the Conservative Party is now immune from another such challenge for one year.
Yet going by the conventions and traditions of the party, Boris is by no means safe. While winning a confidence vote is reasonably easy, surviving the consequences is not: going on to win a subsequent election with the public perceptions associated with having been challenged for your own leadership by colleagues hanging over a campaign is a difficult matter.
The confidence vote was only announced this morning after a Conservative internal process which sees such challenges made official once 15 per cent of sitting MPs in the party have put in sealed letters to Sir Graham. A decision to get the process over and done with as quickly as possible had clearly been reached, with the announcement and the vote coming within hours of each other.
Sir Graham revealed in comments Monday morning that Boris Johnson had agreed to bring the vote as quickly as possible. It is conceivable that this may have been a deliberate ploy to deny rebels time to plot and solidify their own support base.
LANE: Every Possible Outcome of the Boris Leadership Challenge is Bad for Britain https://t.co/ypRmaCxSYx
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 6, 2022
While Boris Johnson has been met with resistance from within the party since his first day in office, predominantly from the once-powerful pro-Europe, anti-Brexit wing of the Conservative Party, speculation about his leadership has grown in recent months over his handling of the Coronavirus lockdown rules.
Although the United Kingdom was not ultimately the toughest — stopping short of the mandatory vaccination policies seen in some countries — the country was nevertheless locked down hard and early by Boris Johnson’s government. While otherwise freedom-loving Britons seemed apparently happy, pollsters claimed, with the measures at the time disquiet built as it became clear the government hadn’t followed its own rules.
Government spokesmen, the Prime Minister included, maintained they believed the rules had been followed at all times, even though a police investigation subsequently handed out fines for illegal behaviour for senior politicians and civil servants, the Prime Minister included. Should the government’s insistence that it believed it was following the rules be taken at face value it would reveal — quite damagingly, some would say — that Boris Johnson and his colleagues had created a system of lockdown rules so complicated that even the people who wrote them found them impossible to follow in good faith.
This perceived failure by Boris Johnson and other senior figures to follow their own rules was cited at length in an internal memo being shared between Conservative MPs over the weekend laying out the case to depose Boris as leader. Claiming that the PM had gone from being an asset to a liability, the document said the Prime Minister was now so unpopular that his brand was robbing even popular Conservative policies of their ability to cut through and please voters.
It has been claimed television footage of the Prime Minister being booed by the public as he arrived at a cathedral service for Queen Elizabeth II on Platinum Jubilee Friday last week also impacted the decisions of some Conservative MPs to rebel at this point, even if various recordings of the event record both booing and cheering for the Prime Minister at the time.
Boris Johnson, Prince Harry, Meghan Met by Boos From Crowd Outside Cathedral Thanksgiving Servicehttps://t.co/SiPmSwNXOo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 3, 2022