What is the 1922 Committee? Next steps in Boris Johnson vote of no confidence revealed

A vote of no confidence will be held against the Prime Minister this evening

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a vote of no confidence by Tory MPs this evening, following rising anger across the party at the disclosures over lockdown parties in Downing Street.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, confirmed in a statement that he has now received the 54 letters from Conservative MPs needed to trigger a vote.

The vote – by secret ballot – will take place at Westminster on Monday 6 June between 6pm and 8pm, with the count to take place immediately afterwards.

It comes after a steady stream of Conservative MPs called publicly for the Prime Minister to stand down in the wake of Sue Gray’s report into breaches of the Covid regulations in No 10 and Whitehall.

Sir Graham Brady announced the no confidence vote this morning
Sir Graham Brady announced the no confidence vote this morning

What is the 1922 Committee?

The 1922 Committee obtained its name form a gathering of Conservative lawmakers that took place almost 100 years ago, in 1922.

Their meeting ultimately brought down a coalition government and led to the Tories winning the imminent election.

The Committee has played a key role in shaping the Conservative Party.

In 1990 Margaret Thatcher failed to win the first ballot by enough votes to end the contest, and was later persuaded to withdraw from the second ballot.

The Iron Lady resigned shortly after, ending her 11-year spell as Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces being voted out this evening
Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces being voted out this evening

Who is Sir Graham Brady?

Sir Graham Brady is the current Chairman of the 1922 Committee.

In a statement earlier today, he announced the receipt of letters against the Prime Minister had triggered a vote of no confidence.

What happens with a vote of no confidence?

Following the announcement of a vote of no confidence, members of the Conservative Party will vote in a secret ballot at Westminster this evening between 6pm and 8pm.

If Mr Johnson succeeds in the vote, his leadership will be safer from another vote for a year.

Theresa May, former Conservative PM, won a vote of no confidence in December 2018, but departed Downing Street months later.

Following a meeting with Sir Graham, the former PM was advised to resign before Conservative MPs tore the party apart after Brexit.

What happens if Mr Johnson loses?

If Mr Johnson loses the vote of no confidence, or if he resigns, the next steps would be a leadership contest within the Conservative Party.

In the first stage, Conservative MPs put themselves forward as candidates, and their colleagues vote in a series of rounds until two remain.

Grassroot Tory members make the final choice.

But Mr Johnson's cabinet could ramp up pressure on the Prime Minister, forcing him to resign.

Who's next in line?

Conservative MPs Lizz Truss and Jeremy Hunt are at the forefront of discussions for who will take over the role of Prime Minister.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is another who might run.

From outside the Cabinet, Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, is expected to run too.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak was a highly-tipped candidate but his chances have been damaged by revelations about his tax affairs.