British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed his party members one last time before Monday evening’s confidence vote. According to a party member, at the closed meeting, Johnson wanted to convince conservative parliamentarians not to vote him out.
The confidence vote has been requested after ‘partygate’, the scandal surrounding parties by government employees during lockdowns.
Johnson warned his party members not to “turn on themselves” and that his resignation would weaken the party. He could restore popular confidence and pointed to his 2019 election victory for the Conservative Party, the biggest in 40 years. If Johnson is allowed to stay on, he has announced tax cuts and will come up with an economic growth plan next week. Johnson closed the speech with a promise that “the best is yet to come.”
Many prominent Conservatives expressed support for the prime minister on Monday, but there are also leading Tories who have announced their intention to vote against Johnson. Former minister Jeremy Hunt spoke out for “change in the party” and Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, says he no longer has faith in Johnson.
The confidence vote will be held between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. The results are expected shortly afterwards. Of the 359 Conservative MPs, 180 must vote against the prime minister to effectively remove him as party leader and prime minister. In that case, the party must find a new leader who automatically becomes prime minister.