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The Government faces a vote of no confidence – here is what happens now


Boris Johnson’s caretaker administration is tabling a motion of confidence in itself after refusing a Labour call for a showdown on the Prime Minister’s future.

Downing Street has triggered a de facto vote of confidence in itself, conceding that it cannot block Labour’s attempt to hold a vote on Boris Johnson and the Government.

The vote, expected on Monday, comes after the Conservatives this week blocked a Labour motion that called on MPs to vote on whether they had confidence in the Government while Mr Johnson remained Prime Minister.

The new motion will call on MPs to vote on confidence in the Government, not the Prime Minister, but Labour is expected to seek to amend it.

Failure to win the confidence of the Commons could trigger a general election.

What will happen if the Government loses the vote?

As the official Opposition, Labour can table a motion of no confidence in the Government in the Commons pretty much whenever it wants.

Convention dictates that if the Opposition asks for a vote, then the Government should make time for it within days. 

A motion of no confidence is a serious matter: a government that loses such a vote is expected to either resign or go to the country in a general election. 

The last successful confidence vote in Parliament forced James Callaghan from office in the 1979 Winter of Discontent, ushering in Margaret Thatcher’s 11-year premiership.


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