British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has come under heavy criticism for the “Partygate” affair, has to face a vote of no confidence from his Conservative Party. The necessary number of applications from Tory MPs – at least 54 – had been received, said the head of the responsible party committee, Graham Brady, on Monday in London.

The necessary threshold of 15 percent of the 359 conservative parliamentarians was thus reached. Johnson can win the vote, which is scheduled to take place between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (local time) on Monday evening, and retain his office. However, the vote alone is considered another heavy blow for the prime minister. If a majority votes against Johnson, he will lose his position as prime minister for the time being.

Johnson himself welcomes the opportunity to face the vote of his Conservative Party MPs, the prime minister said on Monday via a Downing Street spokeswoman. He described it as a chance to put the “Partygate” affair behind him.

Johnson has also come under heavy criticism from within his own ranks for a number of lockdown parties at his Downing Street official residence during the pandemic. Johnson was fined for attending one of the celebrations.

This makes him the first incumbent British Prime Minister to break the law. An investigation report accuses him and other people in charge of leadership failure and serious misconduct in complying with Corona rules. The 57-year-old apologized several times in the House of Commons in London. However, he refuses to resign.

To vote Johnson out of office, at least 180 MPs must vote against him in the no-confidence vote. This is considered a high hurdle, especially as around 150 Tory MPs hold part-time government jobs that they could lose if Johnson were voted out. In addition, experts point out that there is currently no real alternative to the prime minister, who is also considered the most important campaigner for the Conservative Party.

Under current party rules, if Johnson wins the vote, there can be no further attempt to unseat him for a year. The result of the vote of no confidence is to be announced after the vote on Monday evening.