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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a no-confidence vote Monday that could have removed him from power after a scandal over lockdown-violating gatherings that took place at government offices and the prime minister’s residence, Reuters reported.
The vote came after lawmakers from Johnson’s Conservative party submitted letters of no confidence in his leadership. Under party rules, at least 15 percent of lawmakers need to write a letter to oust their leader.
Almost 150 members of his party voted to remove Johnson.
The embattled leader has faced an uproar over parties that took place as the UK was under a strict lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic, a scandal that has become known as “partygate.” Two separate investigations uncovered a widespread culture of boozy parties, as well as multiple violations of lockdown rules.
The London Metropolitan Police issued 126 fines to 83 people, including Johnson and his wife – that made Johnson the first sitting British prime minister to have been sanctioned for breaking the law, NBC News noted.
The scandal has put Johnson in a difficult situation, less than three years after sweeping the 2019 elections and securing an agreement that finalized Britain’s exit from the European Union.
But the anger ignited by the gatherings has sparked concern among Conservative lawmakers that voters are turning against them. According to YouGov, Johnson’s disapproval rating has risen to 68 percent.
Still, since Johnson won the vote, he is safe from further challenges for about a year – officially at least.