British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to “get on with the job” as he breathed a sigh of relief after barely surviving a no-confidence vote by members of his Conservative Party.
While he remains the nation’s leader and can’t be challenged again for the next 12 months, the vote Monday revealed the large scale of the threat he faces. Johnson won the vote by 211 votes to 148 – enough to avoid having to immediately resign.
The prime minister’s office issued a statement outlining what he hopes to achieve in Tuesday’s meeting with cabinet ministers, including introducing new policies to reduce childcare costs and home-buying.
“This is a government that delivers on what the people of this country care about most,” Johnson said in the statement.
“We are on the side of hard-working British people, and we are going to get on with the job.”
In all, 41.2% of Conservative Members of Parliament voted against the PM, a higher percentage than the 40.9% who broke with Margaret Thatcher when she faced a leadership challenge in 1990. She resigned from office 48 hours later.
He welcomed what he called “an extremely good, positive, conclusive, decisive result which enables us to move on, to unite and to focus on delivery and that is exactly what we are going to do.”
Monday’s vote was called after 54 Conservative MPs submitted letters to the 1922 Committee — the organization of back-bench Tories — demanding that Johnson’s leadership be put to the test in the aftermath of the “Partygate” scandal and the cost of living crisis.
The Post has reached out to the Conservative Party and the Labour Party for comment about Tuesday’s upcoming meeting.
“Partygate” refers to 16 social gatherings the prime minister and members of his staff attended during the same period when Johnson and the British government imposed strict social distancing measures and limits on gatherings during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A highly anticipated report on the scandal released last month found that the behavior of the government was “difficult to justify” as it asked citizens “to accept far-reaching restrictions on their lives.”
Earlier this year, Johnson was fined by police for attending one party, making him the first prime minister sanctioned for breaking the law while in office.
With Post wires