Boris Johnson is facing a leadership crisis as there have been calls for him to resign from his own backbenchers following Downing Street’s ‘partygate’ scandal. 

Conservative MPs have submitted no confidence letters in the Prime Minister in an attempt to force a vote on his party leadership.

At Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, former cabinet minister David Davis joined calls for Johnson to stand down, telling him: "In the name of God, go."

His comments came after backbench Tory MP Christian Wakeford defected to Labour, minutes before PMQs began.

Here’s everything you need to know about what a vote of no confidence is, how many letters are needed to force the vote, and what happens next.


How is a vote of no confidence triggered? 

Tory MPs can trigger a no confidence vote in their leader at any time if 15 per cent write to the chairman of the 1922 Committee.

Before Chrisitan Wakeford defected to Labour, there were 360 Tory MPs meaning that 54 need to submit a letter to trigger the vote.

The 1922 Committee keeps the number who have submitted letters a closely guarded secret, but MPs are free to make public if they have done so.

Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, and Sir Roger Gale, the veteran MP for North Thanet have both publicly confirmed that they submitted their letters last Wednesday. 

If the number of letters received by the 1922 Committee tips the 15 per cent threshold, an announcement is made and a vote of no confidence is held.


What is the 1922 Committee?

The 1922 Committee is a group of backbench Tory MPs who meet on a weekly basis when the Commons is sitting to discuss party matters.

Currently, it is chaired by Sir Graham Brady, the MP for Altrincham and Sale West.

The Committee gives time and space for less senior members of the party to discuss any issues and meets monthly with the party leader to update them on opinions.


When is a no confidence vote held?

Once letters have been received by the 1922 Committee and the vote is triggered, a secret ballot then takes place amongst Tory MPs.

It tends to happen very quickly.

At least 50 per cent of Tory MPs must then place a no confidence vote in the Prime Minister in order for him to be ousted.

The last time a no confidence vote was triggered was on December 12, 2018, while Theresa May was in power. At the time, Mrs May won a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party by 200 to 117.

The vote was held hours after she was informed that the 15 per cent threshold had been reached.


What happens if Boris Johnson loses a confidence vote?

If Boris Johnson were to lose a confidence vote, a leadership contest in the Conservative Party between members would get under way almost immediately. 

If he lost, Mr Johnson would not be able to compete in it.

It has been speculated that if this were to happen, candidates for the role include Chancellor Rishi Sunak,Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, Home Secretary Priti Patel, and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab.