Labour is set to table a motion of no confidence in Boris Johnson's government in an attempt to oust him from Downing Street immediately, Yahoo News UK understands.
Johnson resigned as Conservative leader on Thursday but said he would remain in power until a replacement is found, a move that has divided Tory MPs.
Labour’s bid - which is expected today - would force Johnson’s colleagues to either back the Government or vote against it, in a move that could trigger a general election.
The next prime minister is not expected to be announced until 5 September after the Tory party set out its timetable for the battle to replace Johnson in No 10.
Sir Keir Starmer had previously threatened to bring the confidence vote to prevent “this nonsense about clinging on for a few months”.
“He’s inflicted lies, fraud and chaos in the country,” the Labour leader said last week.
“If they don’t get rid of him then Labour will step up, in the national interest, and bring a vote of no confidence, because we can’t go on with this Prime Minister clinging on for months and months to come.”
Despite a number of Tory MPs signalling they were keen for Johnson to leave immediately, he has promised to remain until the Conservative leadership election has concluded.
Tory MPs will be wary that opposing the Government could trigger a general election at a time they are selecting a new leader, and risk losing the large Commons majority Johnson won in 2019.
Authority rapidly drained away from the PM last week as Cabinet ministers and junior colleagues resigned from Government and Tory MPs publicly called for his resignation.
The confidence vote, which would require a simple majority to pass, will put on record where leadership contenders and their colleagues in the Commons stand on Johnson staying in office over the next two months.
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But now the Conservative Party has set out its timetable for a replacement to be announced on September 5, the clamour for Johnson’s immediate exit has been dampened.
That the motion is in Labour’s name makes Tory support even less likely.