MPs are set to get the chance to vote on Monday on whether they believe the government should continue in its current form. The surprise move caught Westminster off-guard after Mr Johnson rejected Labour’s plans to hold its own vote.
Sir Keir Starmer declared his intentions to hold a no-confidence vote earlier this week after Tory MPs failed to remove Mr Johnson while the Conservative leadership contest takes place.
He had claimed it would be wrong for the party to “let him cling on for weeks, and weeks, and weeks” until a new Prime Minister was appointed.
“It would be intolerable for the country,” he added.
However, ministers last night left Labour furious after refusing to grant parliamentary time to carry out the vote.
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Under Parliamentary convention, the Government should free up time in the House of Commons for a vote to take place.
The Government claimed that Labour had failed to properly word its no-confidence motion, meaning there was no choice but to reject a Commons debate.
Mr Johnson declared this afternoon he was calling his own confidence vote.
A Government spokeswoman said: “Labour were given the option to table a straightforward vote of no confidence in the Government in keeping with convention, however, they chose not to.
“To remedy this, we are tabling a motion which gives the House the opportunity to decide if it has confidence in the Government.
“The Government will always allow time for appropriate House matters whilst ensuring that it delivers parliamentary business to help improve people’s everyday lives.”
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Mr Johnson’s press secretary insisted Labour’s own motion including the Commons not having confidence in the Prime Minister was “not good use of parliamentary time”.
The Tories have accused Labour of playing politics with the vote.
The failure to win the confidence of the Commons could trigger a general election.
While it is unlikely Tories would bring down their own Government now that a leadership race is underway, Labour had been trying to put MPs on record for their support of Mr Johnson.
A number of Conservative MPs had made it clear that they thought the incumbent at No10 should step aside and an interim appointed while a new leader was chosen.
Former Prime Minister Sir John Major last week said it would be “unwise and may be unsustainable” for Mr Johnson to remain in office while a new Tory leader is elected.
Even Jonathan Gullis, one of Mr Johnson’s most avid backbench supporters, said last week that his preference would have been to “have installed Dominic Raab as an interim Prime Minister, then with the interim Cabinet, until we had a new leader”.
However, Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the party’s 1922 committee that organises leadership races, confirmed on Monday that Mr Johnson would remain in post until September 5.