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How might a vote of no confidence happen? Laura Glucina, St Michaels

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Although the government wants people to wait until the results of a report investigating alleged parties held in Downing Street over lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing more and more calls to resign from his own MPs.

Also known as the Conservative Private Members Committee, the 1922 Committee is a group of Tory backbenchers that meets weekly to discuss party matters, giving less senior members the chance to speak up about any issues. They then have a meeting every month with the party leader to speak about opinions within the party. The current leader is Sir Graham Brady, MP for Altrincham and Sale West. 

How would a vote of no confidence be triggered?


If 15 percent of these MPs write to the 1922 Committee expressing a lack of confidence in the Prime Minister, a leadership vote would be triggered. There were 360 Tory MPs, meaning 54 would need to send letters in for that to happen, although Christian Wakeford has recently defected to labour.  

What would happen if a no confidence vote was triggered?

If these letters are sent, a leadership vote would be triggered, and more than half of the Tory MPs must vote against Johnson. Should this happen, any Tory MP with 8 others backing them can put themselves forward as the new leader, and candidates with the least support are continually eliminated until there are only two candidates left. 

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Members of the Conservative party are then asked to vote for one of the two candidates and the winner would become the new Prime Minister. However, if Boris Johnson survives the vote of no confidence, he would be immune for another year. 

How many letters have been sent?

Several MPs have publicly confirmed that they have sent letters, including Sir Roger Gale, and Douglass Ross, the leader of the Scottish conservatives. However, the actual number is thought to be higher. There are claims that as many as 20 ‘red wallers’ plan to or have already sent in letters, bringing the total number much closer to 54. The current leader of the committee, Graham Brady, is the only person who knows for certain how many letters have been sent.


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