Conservative MP Roger Gale has become the first Tory to publicly announce that he has sent a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson, potentially laying the floor for a larger vote that could trigger a new leadership election.
55 letters are needed to trigger a confidence vote by the 361 Conservative MPs. Johnson already faces a Tory rebellion, with over 100 Conservative MPs voting against the new COVID rules proposed by his government earlier this week.
Johnson faces public ire over a party held at 10 Downing Street despite stringent COVID rules against such gatherings. His unpopularity was reflected in the outcome of a bypoll election in North Shropshire, where the Tories lost power after almost 200 years, with the Liberal Democratic party taking the win.
Gale, the MP from North Thanet, has been a longstanding critic of Johnson. He said he sent his letter after the news broke that former No 10 aide Dominic Cummings had made a trip to Barnard Castle last year, in defiance of lockdown.
Under parliament norms, the number of letters received will not be disclosed until at least 15 per cent of the party’s strength—in this case, that would be 55—submits the same.
Labour leader Keir Starmer had remarked in parliament on Wednesday, “Who knows if he’ll make it to the next election?”