A meeting of the 1922 Committee executive is underway, with the group that acts as the voice of backbench Conservative MPs set to decide on the immediate future of PM Boris Johnson, who so far over the past 24 hours has seen 32 members of the gov't payroll resign their offices over Johnson's handling of a scandal involving the deputy chief whip.
- A number of potential outcomes from the meeting are possible:
- The executive could decide that it does not want to alter the rules, meaning Johnson cannot be challenged for the leadership until June 2023. However, with the list of resigned ministers growing longer, the PM will find it difficult to fill the vacant positions in gov't with supportive backbenchers.
- They could alter the rules barring a confidence vote within 12 months of a previous vote. With the number of letters calling for a confidence vote almost certainly in excess of the 54 required to trigger a vote, a contest could take place within a day in this scenario.
- The executive could offer Johnson the same choice offered to his predecessor, Theresa May, in 2019. Resign or announce your resignation timetable, or risk the rules being changed with the guarantee that Johnson would lose a confidence vote.
- No timeframe on an end to the meeting, but a broader meeting of backbench Conservative MPs (a larger group as of today) set to meet following the executive meeting's conclusion.