TBT - Government Tables Confidence Motion In Itself, Rebuking Labour's Attempt to Undermine PM Johnson

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LONDON (UK Fact Check) - On this day a year ago, the UK Government made an unexpected move by tabling a confidence motion in itself after rejecting Labour's version that directly criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The strategy forced Conservative MPs to show their support for the government, simplifying the vote as it no longer constituted a direct endorsement of the Prime Minister.

The government spokesperson stated, “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."

This decision, labelled as "madness" by a Labour source, was thought to potentially backfire. Despite this, the Prime Minister's press secretary insisted that Johnson planned to open the debate ahead of the vote, claiming Labour's own motion was “not a good use of parliamentary time.”

The situation stirred controversy as it broke the long-standing convention that if the leader of the official opposition tables a motion of no confidence, the government allows time for it to be debated and voted on. However, the government argued that Labour's motion fell outside the scope of the convention by directly identifying Johnson. Nonetheless, Labour asserted that the motion was in order, pointing to the 1965 confidence motion that also mentioned the Prime Minister.

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