British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has survived a “vote of no confidence” from his own party after at least 54 Conservative members of Parliament submitted letters claiming they no longer had faith in his ability to lead the country.
Sir Graham Brady announced the results after 359 members cast their votes deciding his fate. To remove Johnson from his role as leader of the party, 180 votes were needed. A total of 211 said they had confidence, while 148 said they did not. The vote also means that Johnson cannot face another vote of no confidence for a year.
Were Johnson to have lost the vote, it would have signaled the end of his reign as prime minister after he assumed power in 2019.
The vote comes after six months of scandals for Johnson. The former party leader’s woes were exacerbated when it was discovered that members of the British government, under his leadership, broke COVID-19 protocols by hosting multiple gatherings and parties while the rest of the country was in lockdown. Johnson has denied that he knowingly broke protocols by allowing the parties. He has also denied accusations that he has lied to Parliament.
In a letter to his party before the vote, Johnson commented on the “Partygate” scandal but urged the party to put politics aside to focus on the British people.
“I know that over recent months I have come under a great deal of fire, and I know that experience has been painful for the whole party,” Johnson said in the letter. “Some of that criticism has perhaps been fair, some less so. Where there have been valid points, I have listened and learned and made significant changes. I will of course continue to listen and learn from colleagues about the improvements you wish to see. But I cannot stress too much that we have a golden chance to put this behind us now.”
Public support for Johnson has been dwindling for months, and multiple party leaders have called for his resignation. Yet only 34% of Conservative voters would like to see him removed from office, according to CNN. However, with the war in Ukraine continuing in Europe, Johnson has placed his focus on aiding his ally, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The vote came a day after the conclusion of a four-day celebration in the United Kingdom, celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, which marked her 70th year on the throne.