Will Boris Johnson resign? PM reckons with the end as Tories on brink of war

Boris Johnson is 'toast' after vote says Anna Soubry

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Conservative Party members handed the Prime Minister a defeat disguised as a victory in tonight’s no confidence vote. A total of 211 MPs voted to keep Boris Johnson in post, with 148 voting no confidence pinning 40 percent of his party’s Parliament representatives against him. The result means he has a smaller margin of victory than many of his predecessors, who ultimately resigned.

Will Boris Johnson resign?

The Prime Minister and his allies have spun today’s result as positive for him and the party.

In an interview after the vote, Mr Johnson claimed the result was “good news” and that it would allow him to “move on” from partygate.

He did not pledge to resign but may eventually have to for the good of the Conservatives.

Tory leaders who have faced no confidence votes in the past have, historically, eventually resigned.

Margaret Thatcher, the last Prime Minister to enjoy a similar level of popularity to Mr Johnson, won a leadership challenge in 1989.

A significant cohort of MPs – 84 percent – voiced their confidence, with just 16 percent turning out against her.

Disquiet over the following year meant that by November 1990, she was replaced in a second challenge by Sir John Major.

Theresa May experienced a similar leadership challenge in 2018 when a no confidence vote initiated against her failed.

She won with 63 percent of 317 MPs stating their confidence but only gave her a brief reprieve from party criticism.

Mrs May announced her resignation just five months later, ultimately handing the reins to Mr Johnson after a leadership contest in 2019.

Leading Conservatives have warned he may now have to reconcile with a similar fate.

Former Conservative MP and 2019 leadership contender Rory Stewart said tonight’s results are far worse than they appear.

Removing the “payroll” votes from MPs working with a Government salary, he said, increases the numbers against him considerably, ushering in “the end” for Mr Johnson.

He said via Twitter: “Almost 75 percent of all Tory MPs not dependent on his patronage voted against him.

“This is the end for Boris Johnson. The only question is how long the agony is prolonged.”

Former BBC political heavyweight Andrew Neil compared the results to the 1990 bout between Heseltine and Thatcher.

He said: “The result not that different from Thatcher v Heseltine in 1990. She got 204 votes, Hezza 152.”

Mr Neil added the cabinet ultimately took her down, but Mr Johnson still enjoys support from his.

His ministers have overwhelmingly supported him since, but whether this support continues remains to be seen.

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