British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a no-confidence vote Monday but is weakened after more than 40% of his Conservative Party voted against him remaining in office.
In a secret ballot, 148 of the 359 Conservative Party lawmakers voted against Johnson. At least 180 would have had to vote against Johnson for him to be removed.
The prime minister has been under heavy scrutiny since revelations last year that he and his staff held parties in his Downing Street office when Britain was under strict COVID-19 restrictions.
Lawmakers across the political spectrum have voiced concerns about Johnson, and he has faced anger from the public. Some in the crowd booed him when he arrived last week for a service in the queen’s honor during her Platinum Jubilee.
After Monday’s vote, Johnson called his win “convincing” and said, “What it means is that as a government, we can move on and focus on stuff that I think really matters to people.”
He has said he wants to focus on improving the economy and promoting conservative policies like cutting taxes.
Johnson said before the vote that if party members stuck with him, “I will lead you to victory again.”
Johnson became prime minister in July 2019. The next election must be held by 2024, and some Conservatives have expressed concern that the scandals will hurt the party.
However, leading Cabinet ministers have rallied around Johnson, touting his successes in implementing the country’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign and his strong support for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, often mentioned as a possible successor to Johnson, tweeted her support of the prime minister. “Pleased that colleagues have backed the Prime Minister. I support him 100%. Now’s the time to get on with the job,” she wrote.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.