Labor Party eyes vote of no confidence to remove PM Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen July 24 outside No.10 Downing Street in London, Britain. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI

Aug. 13 (UPI) — Just weeks after he succeeded Theresa May as British prime minister, Boris Johnson is already facing a possible vote of no confidence.

British Labor Party shadow secretary Diane Abbott said Monday the vote could be held within weeks, once lawmakers return from recess in September. She said lawmakers would need to move rapidly to organize such a vote, with the Oct. 31 deadline to leave the European Union.

Johnson has drawn criticism for pledging to leave with or without a trade agreement with the EU. Some experts have cautioned against leaving without an agreement, citing a variety of potential economic consequences.

May tried multiple times, unsuccessfully, to pass an EU-approved exit deal. Upon taking office, Johnson said Britain will leave on the deadline no matter what. He said last month the most recent proposal May brokered was no longer an option.

If lawmakers approve a vote of no confidence, they would have two weeks to organize a new election.

Abbott said Monday it’s critical lawmakers have a broad coalition of support among other parties that also want to remove Johnson. She said Labor will discuss strategies before Parliament returns.

“Who has confidence in Boris Johnson apart from the people around him?” Abbott asked on British radio. “The more he announces these bogus unfunded announcements, I think the less confidence there will be in him in the general public.”

Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn said last month he would do everything possible to challenge the government. Some Conservatives are also expected to support Johnson’s removal.

U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with Johnson by phone Monday, the White House said. The two pledged cooperation and agreed to meet in the near future, possibly at the three-day G7 summit in Biarritz, France, which begins Aug. 24.


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