Will MPs in the East of England back Boris Johnson as prime minister faces vote of no confidence?

Boris Johnson faces a vote of no confidence on Monday evening.
Credit: PA
Boris Johnson faces a vote of no confidence on Monday evening. Credit: PA

Conservative MPs across the East of England have been showing their hand as they prepare to cast a vote that could decide the fate of Boris Johnson's premiership.

The prime minister faces a vote of no confidence on Monday evening, after Sir Graham Brady confirmed that 15% of MPs had called for one.

Many Tories in the East of England were quick to voice their support for the PM, though there have also been conflicting voices among the backbench ranks.

Of the 63 Tory MPs in the Anglia region, 34 are on the government payroll and would be expected to give the prime minister their support.

Among the most consistent of the dissenters has been Peter Aldous, the MP for Waveney in Suffolk, who called for Mr Johnson to resign in February, as details of the Partygate scandal continued to emerge.

Two weeks ago Billericay and Basildon MP John Baron withdrew his support for Mr Johnson, claiming that the Metropolitan Police investigations painted a "shameful pattern of misbehaviour" during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, high-profile support has come from Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, the MP for South West Norfolk, who would be among the favourites to succeed him.

She wrote on Twitter that he had her "100% backing".

Cabinet Secretary Steve Barclay (North East Cambridgeshire) has written on the Conservative Home website that MPs should not "waste the remaining half of the parliament on distractions over leadership".

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, who is the Northern Ireland secretary, said the prime minister retained his "full backing".

Will Quince, the MP for Colchester and a government minister, also backed Mr Johnson, urging his followers to put aside distractions and "get on with the job".

Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary and MP for Mid Bedfordshire, has been among the most consistently vocal of the prime minister's supporters, and again tweeted her support for him on Monday.

Number 10 said Mr Johnson "welcomes" a vote of no confidence as it presented a chance to "draw a line and move on".

Mr Johnson wrote to all Tory MPs after the forthcoming vote was announced, telling them they "have the chance to end weeks of media speculation and take this country forward".

He appeared to acknowledge the scandal that has dominated recent months - the Partygate saga - referring to it as "the media’s favourite obsession".

The vote in the PM will be held today between 6pm and 8pm and the votes will be counted immediately afterwards.

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