Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, survived a no-confidence vote on Monday from his own party.
The vote, 211-148 in Johnson’s favor, was triggered after more than 15% of Conservative Party lawmakers sought a vote of no-confidence in the prime minister’s leadership. The bid followed months of controversy that began during some of the worst moments of the coronavirus pandemic over what has been called “partygate” – when Johnson attended gatherings while his constituents were under a lockdown. He was fined by police for violating the law he created.
An investigative report released in recent weeks found that Johnson’s office violated its own COVID policies on multiple occasions that represent a “serious failure” to follow not just standards expected of government officials but also of the general British public, reinvigorating frustrations with the leader. Johnson’s public approval has been likewise jolted by rising inflation and economic hardship.
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Johnson needed to win a majority of the votes, which were cast by secret ballot and threatened to force him from power just over two years after his tenure as the nation’s leader began – at the time with a landslide victory.
In a speech before the vote, Johnson reportedly told Conservative lawmakers that he was committed to cutting the cost of living for people.
In 2018, Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, likewise survived a no-confidence vote, but just months later she was forced from office. If Johnson ultimately faces a similar fate, his successor remains unclear.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who some have said could be among those considered to succeed Johnson, wrote in a tweet on Monday that the prime minister has her “100% backing.”
“He has delivered on covid recovery and supporting Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression,” Truss wrote. “He has apologised for mistakes made. We must now focus on economic growth.”