LONDON -- Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, was in London to meet his Cabinet Tuesday. He had survived a no confidence vote which left him severely weak.
After Conservative Party lawmakers voted 211 to148 in support of Johnson as leader, Johnson pledged to "get on the job" while focusing on "what matters for the British people".
Johnson was unable to remain in power without the support of 180 of 359 Conservative lawmakers who voted secretly Monday. Johnson got more -- although he called the victory "convincing", the rebellion was bigger than many of his supporters predicted. Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May in 2018, also got a smaller margin. Six months later, she was forced to resign.
Three years after Johnson had led the party to its largest election win in decades, the rebellion was a sign that deep Conservative divisions were evident. It was bad news for Johnson, as most British newspapers knew. The Conservative-supporting Daily Telegraph said "Hollow victory tears Tories apart," while the left-leaning Daily Mirror said bluntly: "Party's over, Boris."
After months of simmering discontent about the prime minister’s ethics and judgement, the vote was held after revelations that lawbreaking parties were in the prime ministry's office during Britain's coronavirus pandemic.
William Hague, a former Conservative leader, stated that Johnson had survived the night but that the damage to his premiership was severe and he should resign.
Hague stated in the Times of London that "words have been spoken that cannot be retracted and reports published that can't be erased and votes have been cast which show a greater degree of rejection than any Tory leader ever endured or survived."