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Boris Johnson has survived a vote of confidence from Tory MPs, with 211 votes in favour and 148 votes against, meaning he will remain as Prime Minister.
If he had lost, he would have been forced to stand down, but the result means he is safe from such a challenge for a year.
However, Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, confirmed that rules can change, having told reporters earlier: “Technically it’s possible for rules to be changed but the rule at present is there would be a period of grace.”
Others also pointed out that previous leaders have won confidence votes only to resign months later, including Theresa May.
Speaking after the outcome of the vote was announced, Johnson said he was ‘grateful’ to his colleagues who had supported him.
He told the BBC: "What it means is as a government we can move on and focus on the stuff that I think really matters to people.
"I'm grateful to colleagues and the support they've given me.
"What we need to do now is come together as a government and a party."
He went on to say that this vote was an opportunity for his party to ‘put behind us’ arguments from within.
He added: "What we have now is an opportunity to put behind us all the stuff people in the media like going on about.
"What we're going to do now is take the opportunity to unite and deliver."
Earlier today (Monday 6 June), it was announced that there would be a vote this evening on Johnson's leadership after enough Conservative MPs submitted letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister.
In the UK, a vote of no confidence occurs when 15 percent of the ruling party’s MPs write to Brady to request the move.
After the threshold of 54 letters was reached, Brady said a ballot would be held between 6pm and 8pm today, with votes counted 'immediately afterwards'.
As part of the anonymous process – with only Brady aware of who sent the letters unless MPs chose to share their stance themselves – at least 180 Tory MPs had to vote against Johnson to have him removed.
Johnson has continued to lose the backing of fellow Conservative officials following Partygate and his reaction to the scandal.
Today, Jesse Norman – former Financial Secretary to the Treasury – took to Twitter to write: "I have supported Boris Johnson for 15 years, for the London Mayoralty and for PM.
"Very sadly, I have written to him to say I can no longer do so, for the reasons set out below."
He attached a letter addressed to Boris in which he wrote: "You have presided over a culture of casual law-breaking at 10 Downing Street in relation to Covid.
"To describe yourself as 'vindicated' by the report is grotesque."
I have supported Boris Johnson for 15 years, for the London Mayoralty and for PM. Very sadly, I have written to him to say I can no longer do so, for the reasons set out below. pic.twitter.com/0Mjs4hjeSF— Jesse Norman (@Jesse_Norman) June 6, 2022
Norman added: "Your current policy priorities are deeply questionable. Breach of the Northern Irish Protocol would be economically very damaging, politically foolhardy and almost certainly illegal."
Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is MP for South West Surrey and also faced Johnson in the final two in the last Conservative leadership race in 2019, also publicly said he believed Johnson should go, tweeting: "Today’s decision is change or lose. I will be voting for change."
Public confidence in the PM has been on a rapid decline as well, with hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition to have him removed along with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.
Back in April, Johnson and Sunak received fines following the Metropolitan Police's investigation into the multiple parties that took place at 10 Downing Street despite the UK being under strict coronavirus regulations.
While both senior politicians issued apologies, many people felt it was not enough given that they had both broken the law by holding events during lockdown and breaking the rules they imposed upon the rest of the country.
Over the weekend, Johnson and his wife Carrie were booed as they got out of their car and walked up the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
The crowds' jeers were painfully audible, so much so that a BBC reporter covering the event said: "That's quite a moment."