Conservative MPs say they supported Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a confidence vote over his leadership of the party.

The vote on Monday night was triggered when Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, received 54 letters from MPs unhappy with Mr Johnson’s leadership amid partygate revelations and the cost-of-living crisis.

Mr Johnson won the vote on Monday night, but did not have overwhelming support of his MPs.

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Ahead of Monday’s vote, Harlow MP Robert Halfon and Brentwood and Ongar MP Alex Burghart said they would not be voting against the Prime Minister because they wanted to prioritise other issues.

Mr Halfon said: “I remain disgusted at the revelations from the Sue Gray inquiry about what has gone on in Downing Street. 

“A leadership election would distract us all for many weeks in the midst of a triple whammy of critical issues including dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic, a cost-of-living crisis, and the war in Ukraine.

“The priority must, must, must be to help people substantially deal with the cost of living.

“As such, I will not be voting to change the Prime Minister at this time.”

Mr Burghart tweeted ahead of the vote that he would also back the Prime Minister.


He told the Epping Forest Guardian: “The best thing for the country is for the government to focus on addressing the considerable challenges facing the country and the world and not on a leadership contest.

“The PM has got the big calls on Brexit, Covid and Ukraine right and deserves the chance to show what he can do again.”

Of the 359 MPs who voted, 41% (148) voted against Boris Johnson and 59% (211) voted for him.

By comparison, Theresa May won her confidence ballot in 2018, with 63% of MPs voting in her favour. She stepped down six months later.

Chingford and Woodford Green MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith did not respond to a request from the Epping Forest Guardian for a comment on how he would vote.

Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing said it would not be appropriate for her to comment as she is Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.

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