Boris Johnson survives confidence vote by 111 votes as Tories back PM to serve as caretaker
The vote came following renewed calls for Boris Johnson to step down as Prime Minister immediately
Boris Johnson has survived a confidence vote by 111 votes as Conservative MPs back the Prime Minister to continue as caretaker.
MPs voted 349 to 238, majority 111, to support the motion stating that the Commons has confidence in the Government.
Mr Johnson stepped down as Conservative Party leader earlier this month following mounting pressure from Tory politicians.
But Mr Johnson said he would be continuing as caretaker Prime Minister until a new permanent successor was announced.
Labour had originally said it would seek to hold a confidence vote after Mr Johnson announced he was staying on as PM.
But the Government refused to accept the wording of the Labour motion, which expressed no confidence in the Government and the Prime Minister, effectively forcing Tory MPs to go on record saying they still had confidence in Mr Johnson if they wanted to avoid an election.
So instead ministers tabled a motion of their own after Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans told the two parties to resolve the matter themselves.
Ahead of the vote, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey, who tabled an amendment demanding Mr Johnson resign immediately, said: “Conservative MPs have the chance to show they are listening to the people by getting rid of this failing Prime Minister.
“Boris Johnson should go now and, when a new Conservative leader is in place, we should have a general election so that people can kick out these Conservatives once and for all.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “The Prime Minister has put down this vote of confidence in himself and his Government.
“We’ve got this extraordinary situation. In the debate last night, I think all of the candidates to be prime minister (were asked): ‘would you have the current Prime Minister in your cabinet?’
“And none of them said they would.
“Tonight, he’s asking them to go into voting lobbies to vote confidence in him continuing as Prime Minister, so this is getting farcical.
“And you’ve got a Government that’s been propped up for months and months and months, is likely to be propped up again this afternoon in that debate.”
If the Government was defeated it would have almost certainly triggered a general election.
That eventuality appeared unlikely, as a significant number of Tory MPs would have needed to vote against the Prime Minister – or at least abstain.