Allies admit to confidence vote possibility, PM gets ready to fight back

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Boris Johnson’s supporters will shift their attention to winning a vote of no confidence, acknowledging that they have little prospect of preventing one from being called.

In a last-ditch effort of winning over his critics, the prime minister will launch a health and housing policy counter-offensive this week. He is widely anticipated to face a leadership vote by this week, with some of the MPs anticipating that the threshold of 54 letters requesting one has already been reached.

On Sunday night, the business minister, Paul Scully, acknowledged that a vote of no confidence “may well happen,” but claimed Johnson would “front it down.” Whatever happens, they had got to get back to governing, to handle the things that people wanted them to do on an everyday basis, he added.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, had declared just hours before that he did not expect a vote this week.

Johnson will show that he is “getting on with the job” in the coming days, according to a No 10 source, and it is also intended at demonstrating his determination not to be irreparably wounded by a vote of confidence, which the PM expects to win narrowly.

According to the source, Johnson would not offer his resignation if he only won by a small margin, nor would he offer to leave before the next election, as Theresa May did.

According to sources, Johnson will not turn away from the potential humiliation of the two impending byelections, and is planning visits to Wakefield and Tiverton, respectively, where the Conservatives are widely predicted to lose to Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Some newer MPs are reportedly concerned about acting too quickly and are considering asking for a confidence vote to be postponed until after the byelections on June 23, to give the best chance of ousting Johnson and give possible leadership candidates more preparation time.

The PM will focus on the NHS backlog this week, announcing progress the government is making to decrease waiting lists, in a green signal to the use of cash that is raised by tax rise that are not popular in the party’s sections. despite charges of complacency from some of Johnson’s followers.

Johnson is anticipated to announce this week that the right to buy would be extended to millions of people who rent from housing associations, and other home ownership schemes. There are tentative plans also to formally introduce the contentious legislation that would overrule elements of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

According to polls taken over the weekend, the Conservatives are headed for a devastating defeat in Wakefield. Several members of the 2019 general election intake have informed colleagues that they refuse to submit a letter until the election results are known. “The wavering red wall MPs are only looking at Wakefield,” one MP remarked. “Only then will it dawn on you that he isn’t all that popular.”

When a vote of confidence is held, Johnson’s supporters think it will be critical for him to demonstrate that he has the backing of the majority of backbenchers.

One MP stated, “Theresa May has lost the backbenchers.” The prime minister must always enlist the support of the payroll votes [government employees].  But he needed to get at least half of the backbenches, because that would send a powerful signal, they added.

Eleni Kyriakou

Eleni is a journalist and analyst at Parliament Magazine focusing on European News and current affairs. She worked as Press and Communication Office – Greek Embassy in Lisbon and Quattro Books Publications, Canada. She is Multilingual with a good grip of cultures, eye in detail, communicative, effective. She holds Master in degree from York University.