Clock ticking for Boris Johnson as career ‘will be over’ if local elections bomb – expert

PM ‘should call vote of confidence himself’ says Nadler

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Mr Johnson is already facing growing calls from the House for a vote of confidence in his leadership amid the ongoing Partygate scandal, and experts believe a poor result at the local election could be the final straw for the embattled Prime Minister. His premiership was dealt a major blow last month as he was fined for breaking lockdown rules. The Tory leader was slapped with a fixed penalty notice for attending his own birthday party in the Cabinet room in Downing Street in June 2020.

He apologised for the bash, which flouted England’s COVID-19 restrictions, but vowed to fight on and “get on with the job” of leading the nation.

But anger built among MPs on all sides of the house, with a string of Tory MPs calling on Mr Johnson to resign and submitting letters of no confidence in his leadership to the influential 1922 Committee of backbenchers – once a threshold of 54 letters have been a received, a confidence vote must be held.

However, many within the party are reportedly biding their time by delaying any bids to oust the Tory leader until after tomorrow’s local elections.

Voters in England, Wales and Scotland go to the polls on Thursday, May 5 to elect thousands of councillors and other officials across the UK.

If anger towards the Prime Minister over Partygate translates into Tory losses and Mr Johnson loses a vote of confidence, his political career “will be over”, according to Dr Nicholas Dickinson, a political expert from the University of Oxford.

JUST IN: Mali to cease all military cooperation and terminate all treaties with France

He told “The way in which this works is once a vote of confidence is triggered, the outcome of that vote essentially determines his future.

“So, unlike, for example, when the Parliamentary Labour Party attempted to force Jeremy Corbyn out and began the leadership contest, Corbyn was able to run in that leadership contest.

“Whereas, if Boris Johnson loses that vote of confidence among Conservative MPs, he won’t be able to run in the contest.

“And at that point, his political career, or at least his career as Prime Minister will be over.

“So, in that sense, there’s very little he can do.”

Once the threshold of 54 letters is reached, the committee’s chairman, Sir Graham Brady, will then make an announcement.

A confidence vote will then be triggered, with the Tory leader to be ousted if more than 50 percent of their MPs vote to remove them.

Dr Dickinson said: “He has to hope that Graham Brady doesn’t get as many letters as are needed to start the contest and then hope that he wins that vote of confidence.

“But there is very little he can do to control that process.”

Last month, in the run-up to the elections, Mr Johnson was warned that it was inevitable he would face a vote of confidence.

Brexit: ‘Beware’ Irish newspaper warns of ‘darker purpose’ behind Rees-Mogg’s ‘gift’ [LATEST]
Russian interference in British politics laid bare ahead of local elections [INSIGHT]
Liz Truss tipped to succeed Boris Johnson for vital reason: ‘Most Brexity will win’ [ANALYSIS]

Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the defence select committee told BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme: “I fear it’s now when, not if, a vote of confidence takes place.

“Sadly, the absence of discipline, focus and leadership in No 10 has led to this breach of trust with the British people.

“And it’s causing long-term damage to the party’s brand and that’s proving difficult to repair despite good people now coming into No 10.”

Mr Ellwood was one of at least nine Tories, who in February admitted they had sent in letters of no confidence in their leader.

Dr Dickinson claimed that if Mr Johnson stays on as Tory leader, the party could even lose the next General Election, which is slated for 2024 in less than two years.

He said: “I think with Johnson in charge there is every indication that the Conservatives would lose their majority at the next election.

“With a different leader, it is very difficult to say. The Conservative brand I think is not necessarily damaged by this in the long run.

“But that remains to be seen. Certainly, with Johnson as leader the polling is bad and if anything is getting worse.

“And the longer he stays, the longer that damage is prolonged. The longer his negative ratings begin to affect the Conservative Party in a more long-term way.”

Source: Read Full Article