London: Lawmakers in the House of Commons, the lower house of the British parliament, backed outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government in a confidence vote.
Johnson’s government on Monday evening called for the confidence vote itself to see off a rival move by the main opposition Labour Party that could have led to a snap general election, Xinhua news agency reported.
The government won the vote by 349 to 238, with the Conservative Party MPs rallied behind the outgoing Prime Minister.
Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, urged MPs to vote no confidence for Johnson, adding: “Britain deserves a fresh start with Labour, free from those who got us stuck in the first place, free from the chaotic Tory party and free from those who propped up this Prime Minister for months and months.”
“Today, we finally have a chance to cast our verdict on a failed Prime Minister and a Conservative party that is collapsing before our very eyes,” Ian Blackford, leader of the Scottish National Party in the House of Commons, said in the debate in the Commons.
Johnson resigned earlier this July as party leader, the title that also gives him the job of Prime Minister.
In 2019, just months after moving into 10 Downing Street, Johnson called a snap general election, winning the Conservatives an 80-seat majority, one of the biggest successes in the party’s post-war history.
But amid a series of scandals, ranging from so-called parties at 10 Downing Street during Covid-19 lockdown to his handling of a scandal over a close ally involved in alleged sexual misbehaviour, Johnson bowed to pressure to stand down.
Earlier on Monday, the number of candidates in the race to succeed Johnson as party leader and the Prime Minister was reduced to four: Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Penny Mordaunt and Kemi Badenoch.