From landslide victory to no confidence vote in 2.5 years - how did Boris Johnson get here?

ITV News UK Editor Paul Brand outlines the key events in the lead-up to the no confidence vote.

Words by ITV News Content Producer Elaine McCallig

Boris Johnson's premiership has just clung on after winning a no-confidence which saw four in 10 of his MPs vote to oust him.

On Monday Tory MPs voted 211 to 148 in favour of keeping Mr Johnson in office but despite his allies claiming this is a victory the margin is worse than Theresa May in 2018 and she only survived another six months.

The no-confidence vote follows a string of scandals that continue to haunt the former London mayor, such as the partygate saga and the subsequent scathing report from Sue Gray which triggered many Conservative MPs to call for the PM to go.

The vote was called after a total of 54 letters of no confidence from Tory MPs - the threshold needed to trigger the vote - were received by Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee.

The party, under Mr Johnson, previously secured the biggest electoral victory for the Tories in four decades. But the leader is now being blamed for losses in local Conservative seats.

Mr Johnson was handed the keys to Number 10 in July 2019 after a leadership contest to take the reigns from his predecessor Theresa May.

As early as 2019, the Conservative leader courted controversy around Britain's divorce from the EU, with headlines such as the Supreme Court ruling that Mr Johnson's attempt to prorogue parliament was "unlawful", and the prime minister missing his "do or die" deadline to exit the EU by October 31. Amongst his own ranks, not everybody toed the party line.

With Brexit at the top of the party's list of priorities, the Tories secured victory in the subsequent general election with a pithy promise: "Get Brexit Done".

It was another year until they delivered on that pledge, but in 2022 Britain's breakup with the EU continues to pose challenges, such as what to do about the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Shortly after Britain officially left the EU in January 2020 and entered a transition period (which ended in December 2020), the coronavirus pandemic struck the UK in March 2020.

The prime minister himself ended up in intensive care after contracting the virus in April, and later went on to make decisions over lockdowns and restrictions.

But questions were raised over how protected care homes were, what was to be done about the PPE shortages (and eyebrow-raising PPE contracts), as well as an "eye-watering" £37 million Test and Trace receipt.

Some of Mr Johnson's closest colleagues in Number 10 grabbed headlines, such as former aide Dominic Cummings for his trip to Durham and then-health secretary Matt Hancock's tryst with an aide.

However, the UK's rapid vaccine rollout and the lifting of all Covid restrictions with "freedom day" in July 2021, provided Mr Johnson with a welcome popularity boost, largely overshadowing more negative Covid headlines.

Yet in August 2021, the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan presented a new challenge.

News of evacuations were underpinned by the headlines that not everybody eligible to leave Afghanistan would make it out before the August 31 deadline. Mr Johnson also dismissed claims he prioritised the evacuation of animals over people as "total rhubarb".

A sleaze scandal revolving around former MP Owen Paterson and second jobs held by MPs soon followed, but soon after the partygate saga - which would dominate much of early 2022's political headlines - began to unravel in December 2021.

Two separate probes were launched into allegations of rule breaking during the pandemic at Downing Street; one led by the Metropolitan Police dubbed Operation Hillman, and one led by senior civil servant Sue Gray.

Operation Hillman probed alleged breaches on eight separate dates and issued fines to 126 people.

The prime minister, his wife Carrie, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak received fines for a birthday bash held for Mr Johnson. They all paid their fines and apologised, but it made Mr Johnson the first sitting prime minister found to have broken the law.

He was buoyed by the UK government's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but critics have questioned whether enough has been done to assist those fleeing the conflict.

The government's stance towards refugees - including the controversial Rwanda plan - has also proved divisive.

Sue Gray's long-awaited 60-page report came on the same week ITV News exclusively published pictures of Mr Johnson with a drink in his hand during a lockdown gathering.

Ms Gray's report, published in May, criticised senior leadership at Number 10, stating that those at the top should "bear responsibility" for the party culture at the heart of government.

The PM and his wife Carrie were later met with a mixed reaction as they arrived at St Paul's Cathedral for a special service honouring the Queen during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, with many in the crowd loudly booing, amidst cheers from others, as the couple arrived.

Just a day after the jubilee celebrations wrapped up, it was announced that 15% of Tory MPs had written letters of no confidence to Sir Graham.

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