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Gov't Gives Conservative MPs Free Vote On Lab Motion Seeking PM Probe


Pippa Crerar at The Mirror tweets: "BREAKING: Commons leader Mark Spencer confirms that Tory MPs will have actually have a FREE vote on the "unamended" Labour motion today. Major U-turn from the Government who will now NOT be moving their amendment (which would have delayed any decision to refer PM for investigation over whether he misled the House over Partygate)."

  • Last night it seemed that the gov't would put forward a so-called 'wrecking amendment' to the motion that would delay the vote until the Gray report on COVID-19 rule breaking at 10 Downing Street had been concluded.
  • Now, though, the Labour motion will be voted on as is, with Conservative MPs under no obligation to vote or vote with the gov't. Likely implies significant level of confidence in backbench Conservative MPs from Whips that they will toe gov't line.
  • It remains unlikely that the Labour motion will succeed. Nevertheless, the increased media focus and parliamentary pressure on Johnson is resulting in an increasing implied probability of him leaving office in 2022 on betting markets (impacting negatively on policy continuity). Data from Smarkets shows implied probability of Johnson exiting Downing St in 2022 now stands at 35.7%, highest since 7 March. Leaving office in 2024 or later remains most likely scenario at a 45.1% implied probability.
Chart 1. Betting Market Implied Probability of Date PM Boris Johnson Leaves Office, %

Source: Smarkets

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