Confidence vote will only 'benefit' Labour says Widdecombe
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Boris Johnson faces a confidence vote in his leadership on Monday night after 15 per cent of Tory MPs said they could no longer support him, following the publication of details on lockdown-busting Downing Street parties. What is a confidence vote, and can Labour call one too?
Under Conservative Party rules, a vote of no confidence is triggered when 15 percent of the party submits letters to the 1922 Committee Chairman demanding a change in leadership.
There are currently 359 Conservative MPs, which means 54 letters of no confidence were required to trigger the ballot.
The letters in the ballot are confidential, and only Committee Chairman Sir Graham Brady has access.
In order to survive the ballot, Mr Johnson will need 180 votes of confidence, which equates to half of his MPs as well as one additional.
If Mr Johnson is to win, he can continue as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, and another vote of no confidence would not be able to be called for another year.
But if he were to lose, Mr Johnson would have to resign. This would then trigger a leadership contest amongst the Conservative Party for the new Prime Minister.
But is this just a Tory party rule, or can the opposition do the same? Can Labour call a vote of no confidence on the Conservatives?
Can Labour call a no-confidence vote?
Unlike the Conservative Party, there is no formal vote of no confidence as part of the process of a leadership challenge within the Labour Party.
Despite the Parliamentary Labour Party holding a no-confidence vote in the leader in 2016, Jeremy Corbyn refused to resign and argued that his support among party members outweighed his lack of support from Labour MPs.
According to the Institute for Government, there is only one way to initiate a leadership challenge against the leader of the Labour Party. This involves a challenger to be nominated by at least 20 percent of the combined ranks of Labour MPs in written form. This would then trigger a leadership contest.
Can Labour call a vote of no confidence on the Tory party?
Labour can table a vote of no confidence on the Conservative Party using the wording required under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 (FTPA), which could trigger a general election.
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This would typically be given priority by the Government to debate and vote on in the House of Commons.
The last time this motion was laid was by previous Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in 2019, after the Government lost a Commons vote to secure parliamentary backing for its deal for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The debate was held the day after it was tabled, however, the House rejected the motion against Theresa May’s leadership with a vote of 325 to 306.
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