PMQs RECAP: Boris Johnson grilled in fiery PMQs amid leadership crisis

Boris Johnson is to face MPs at PMQs as he battles plot to oust him as Prime Minister

Mr Johnson will face off with Sir Keir Starmer and other MPs for Prime Minister’s Questions and will also seek to boost his position with Tory MPs and the public by announcing an easing of England’s coronavirus restrictions.

So far, seven Tory MPs have publicly called for Mr Johnson to go, far short of the 54 required to submit letters of no-confidence to the backbench 1922 Committee – but privately, many more believe the Prime Minister’s time is up.

You can follow live updates in our blog.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. Picture date: Wednesday January 12, 2022.

PMQs LIVE: Boris Johnson to face MPs amid leadership crisis

Last updated: Wednesday, 19 January, 2022, 12:58

Hello and welcome to our live blog on a huge day in UK politics.

Boris Johnson is facing pressure on all fronts and his position has been perilous since he admitted attending a “bring your own booze” gathering in the Downing Street garden on May 20 2020, during England’s first lockdown when the rules only allowed someone to meet one other person outdoors, as long as two-metre social distancing was observed.

Boris Johnson faces moves by Tory MPs to oust him from Downing Street in response to the row over lockdown-busting parties.

How does a vote of no confidence work?

A vote of no confidence can be triggered if 15% of Conservative MPs – which would mean 54 currently – write to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee.

If Mr Johnson lost that vote he would be out, but even if he won his position may be untenable if a significant minority of the 360 Tory MPs fail to support him.

Only 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady knows, and he keeps it a closely-guarded secret.

So far, seven Conservative MPs have publicly said the Prime Minister should go, but the true figure is expected to be far higher – and could possibly reach the 54 needed within days.

Of course the party line from the Conservatives and those backing the PM has been to wait for Sue Gray’s report.

The senior civil servant is investigating a series of alleged parties held during England’s lockdowns in No 10 and Whitehall.

Her report is expected within days and will set out the facts around the events, but is likely to stop short of explicitly saying whether or not the Prime Minister broke the rules.

All eyes are on No. 10 as the row over Downing Street parties during lockdown continues to make waves. Photo: Rob Pinney / Getty Images.

In today’s Scotsman Murdo Fraser MSP called for Boris Johnson to resign saying he ‘betrayed’ the people of the UK.

You can read the full article HERE

BREAKING

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford has defected from the Conservatives to Labour, telling Boris Johnson that “you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves”.

An incredibly timed defection and a hammer blow to Boris Johnson?

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer welcomed MP Christian Wakeford’s defection from the Tories, saying: “The policies of the Conservative government are doing nothing to help the people of Bury South and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.”

The Conservatives would currently lose all but three of 45 so-called Red Wall seats if a poll conducted for Channel 4 news was repeated at a general election, a survey has shown.

Polling by JL Partners found the Tory vote has plummeted in Red Wall seats over the course of one month, with the Prime Minister’s approval rating dropping from net -9 in December 2021 to net -35.

The pollster said if repeated at a general election, the Conservatives would hold only Dudley North, Bassetlaw and Great Grimsby out of the 45 seats gained from Labour in the North, Midlands and Wales.

Sir Keir Starmer has welcomed the defection of Christian Wakeford to the Labour Party.

Sir Keir said in a statement: “I would like to welcome Christian Wakeford to the Labour Party. He has always put the people of Bury South first.

“As Christian said, the policies of the Conservative government are doing nothing to help the people of Bury South and, indeed, are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.

“I’m determined to build a new Britain which guarantees security, prosperity and respect for all, and I’m delighted that Christian has decided to join us in this endeavour.”

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