Boost for Boris Johnson as powerful Tory 1922 Committee decides NOT to reduce the time between votes of no confidence from one year to six months – so PM would be safe for 12 months if he survived initial bid to oust him
- 1922 Committee considered allowing more than one no confidence vote a year
- Current rules mean there can only be one vote against leader every 12 months
- Committee weighed up changing it to six months but ultimately opted against
Boris Johnson has been handed a major boost as he fights for his political life over Partygate after senior Tory MPs decided not to change the rules on holding votes of no confidence.
The 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs last night discussed the possibility of reducing the minimum amount of time between votes to oust the party leader from the current one year period to just six months.
Such a move would have made Mr Johnson’s position considerably more precarious but the committee opted to stick with the 12 month rule, according to The Times.
Allies of the Prime Minister were vehemently against reducing the permitted time between no confidence votes.
Boris Johnson has been handed a major boost as he fights for his political life over Partygate after senior Tory MPs decided not to change the rules on holding votes of no confidence
A vote on Mr Johnson’s leadership would be held if Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, receives letters of no confidence from 15 per cent of Tory MPs – currently 54
It means if Tory MPs do trigger a vote of confidence in the PM and Mr Johnson wins, the rebels would then have to wait at least a year to have another go.
The proximity of the general election in 2024 could then give many of the rebels pause for thought before triggering a second vote.
They would be unlikely to want to trigger a disruptive vote on the leadership when the party is supposed to be gearing up for an election campaign.
The decision to stick with the one year rule could also make an initial vote of no confidence less likely.
That is because MPs will want to be sure the threshold of 54 letters will be reached before putting their own in, but also that a majority of Tories would then vote against the PM when the time comes.
A vote on Mr Johnson’s leadership would be held if Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, receives letters of no confidence from 15 per cent of Tory MPs – currently 54.
Mr Johnson yesterday rejected calls to resign as he waits for an official report into the Partygate row.
The Prime Minister insisted he was ‘getting on with the job’, although he acknowledged there were people who ‘want me out of the way’ for a variety of reasons.