Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s conservative lawmakers have withdrawn their support for a growing number of British leaders after giving details of multiple illegal parties in his Downing Street office during a shocking government report during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Johnson, who helped the Conservatives win a large majority in the 2019 election, apologized but said he would not resign.
More than 25 Conservative lawmakers have publicly called for the resignation of Prime Minister Johnson, with many saying they have written a no-confidence motion against the prime minister – the first step in challenging the leadership.
Below is an explanation of how Johnson could face such a challenge under the governing Conservative Party rules:
What needs to happen for leadership competition?
A leadership challenge could begin if a 15% member of the Conservative Parliament (MP) writes a letter to the chairman of the party’s “1922 committee” demanding a vote of confidence, representing lawmakers who have no government job.
The Conservatives have 359 MPs, so 54 would have to write such a letter calling for a vote of confidence.
Could this happen to Johnson?
More than a dozen conservative lawmakers have publicly confirmed that they wrote a letter to Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee.
The letters are confidential, so Brady is the only one who knows how many letters have been submitted
What will happen during the confidence vote?
All conservative MPs can vote for or against their leader. If Johnson wins, he will remain in office and will not be challenged again for 12 months. If he loses, he must resign and be barred from running in the next leadership election.
How fast can a no-confidence vote be?
Under conservative rules, the 1922 committee chairman set a date for the vote as soon as possible in consultation with the party leader.
When Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, faced a vote of confidence in December 2018, which she won, the same day the 1922 committee chairman announced that she had received enough letters to trigger the vote.
British media reported that if a threshold is met in the next few days, Brady could wait until Parliament returns from a June 6 vacation to announce a vote to avoid a four-day shadow of the national celebration marking Queen Elizabeth’s platinum anniversary.
What if Johnson loses the confidence vote?
If Johnson loses, there will be a leadership contest to decide his replacement. However, a national election will not begin automatically and will be replaced by a prime minister.
If a number of candidates come forward, a secret ballot is held among the Conservative MPs to enter the field. The candidate with the lowest number of votes was eliminated and another ballot was held among the Conservative lawmakers. The process is repeated until there are two candidates, with voting taking place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at intervals of a few days.
The final two candidates are then placed on the Greater Conservative Party membership postal ballot, with the winner named the new leader. Voters must be members of the party for more than three months.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)