At least 145 British lawmakers from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party had publicly indicated their support for him ahead of a vote of confidence in his leadership on Monday, according to a Reuters tally.
A total of 180 votes would be enough to ensure he survives the leadership challenge. The ballot will be secret and there is no guarantee that lawmakers will vote in accordance with their public statements.
Voting is due to start at 6:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. GMT), with a result expected at 9:00 p.m.
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Johnson, who won a landslide election victory in 2019, came under mounting pressure after he and staff staged booze parties at his office and Downing Street residence as Britain came under to strict closures due to COVID-19.
If he lost the vote, a leadership race would follow to decide his replacement, which could take several weeks.
Read also | How Boris Johnson suffered a stunning political reversal
In what may concern Johnson’s team, he said he was unaware of any “orchestrated campaign” to oust the prime minister, suggesting a more spontaneous rebellion than those that have gunned down leaders in the past.
A spokesman for Johnson’s office in Downing Street said the vote would ‘allow the government to draw a line and move on’ and the Prime Minister welcomed the opportunity to put forward his arguments with lawmakers.
(With agency contributions)
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