UK PM Johnson to face confidence vote

STORY: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a confidence vote on Monday (June 6), which could see him ousted from power.

It comes after a growing number of lawmakers in the governing Conservative party have questioned his leadership over the "partygate" scandal.

He has been under pressure following a damning report that documented alcohol-fueled parties at the heart of power when Britain was under strict COVID-19 lockdowns.

Johnson, who helped the Conservatives win a large majority in a 2019 election, has apologized but said he will not resign.

Graham Brady, the chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee that represents Conservative lawmakers without government positions, said the 15% threshold of parliamentary party members seeking a confidence vote had been exceeded.

The vote will take place on Monday evening, with the results announced shortly after.

A Downing Street spokesperson said the vote was a chance to “end months of speculation, and allow the government to draw a line and move on.”

More than two dozen Conservative lawmakers say Johnson has lost his authority to govern Britain, which is facing the risk of recession as well as rising fuel and food prices.

Leader of the opposition Labour Party Keir Starmer is among those calling for the prime minister to resign.

"This is the beginning of the end. If you look at previous examples of no-confidence votes even when conservative prime ministers survive those, and he might survive it tonight, the damage is already done."

But Johnson does have allies. Several from his cabinet team, including finance minister Rishi Sunak and other possible successors, were swift to tweet their support for Johnson on Monday.

Public support though appears to have been mixed for the once seemingly unassailable Johnson.

At Platinum Jubilee celebrations for the Queen at the weekend he faced jeers and and boos, with some muted cheers.

On the streets of the capital on Monday, Londoners mulled the vote.

"I hope he gets no confidence because I've got no confidence in him."

"I think I mean he's very corrupt and very incompetent, there's not a great deal more to say."

A majority of Conservative lawmakers - or 180 - would have to vote against Johnson for him to be removed - a level some Conservatives say might be difficult to reach.

If Johnson wins, he will remain in office and cannot be challenged again for a year.

But if he loses, there would then be a leadership contest to decide his replacement.