British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday survived a no-confidence vote, securing enough support from his Conservative Party to remain in office despite a substantial rebellion that leaves him a weakened leader with an uncertain future, The Associated Press reports.
Johnson won the backing of 211 out of 359 Conservative lawmakers in a secret ballot, more than the simple majority needed to remain in power, but still a significant rebellion of 148 MPs.
The Prime Minister called it a "convincing" win and said the party should now "come together."
"What it means is that as a government we can move on and focus on stuff that I think really matters to people," he said.
Johnson has come under fire over revelations that he and his staff repeatedly held parties that flouted the COVID-19 restrictions they imposed on others.
With no clear front-runner to succeed him, most political observers had predicted Johnson would defeat the challenge, but the rebellion is a sign of deep Conservative divisions.
Before the vote, Graham Brady, a Conservative MP, announced that the no-confidence measure had passed the 15% threshold of Conservative support required to move forward. At least 54 Conservative MPs had sent letters backing Johnson’s removal from office.
The Prime Minister’s office responded with optimism, welcoming the vote as “a chance to end months of speculation and allow the government to draw a line and move on, delivering on the people’s priorities.”