CONSERVATIVE MPs have triggered a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady has announced.

At least 54 MPs, including Worthing MP Tim Loughton and Bognor MP Nick Gibb, filed letters calling for the Prime Minister to resign, triggering a vote on his leadership.

In a statement earlier this morning, Sir Graham said: “The threshold of 15 per cent of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded.

“In accordance with the rules, a ballot will be held between 1800 and 2000 today.

“The votes will be counted immediately afterwards. An announcement will be made at a time to be advised.”

Sir Graham also said that he told the Prime Minister the threshold had been reached yesterday.

Downing Street said Boris Johnson “welcomes the opportunity to make his case to MPs”, with a No 10 spokeswoman saying tonight’s vote was “a chance to end months of speculation and allow the Government to draw a line and move on”.

Some backbench Conservatives expressed fears that the ‘Partygate’ scandal, which saw Boris Johnson fined for breaking covid restrictions, has irreparably damaged his reputation among the public, threatening the party’s chances at the next general election.

The Prime Minister also faced public backlash during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, with some sections of a crowd booing him as he arrived at a thanksgiving service for the Queen on Friday.

The vote, by secret ballot, will take place at Westminster this evening - with a total of 180 MPs needed to oust the Prime Minister.

Speaking shortly after the announcement of the confidence vote, health secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News: “The Prime Minister will stand and fight his corner with a very, very strong case.”

Back in January, East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton said that the Prime Minister's resignation was "the only way to bring this whole unfortunate spectacle to an end".

He said: "It has strained belief that when most people were avoiding social events during the height of lockdown, that ill-advised events that we now know took place in or around Downing Street could in any way be construed as falling within the rules.

"As a result, that has given rise to a very understandable perception that there is one rule for some and another for the rest of us, and at a time when we need and expect the whole country to pull together to see us through the pandemic that threatens to undermine the authority of those making the rules and the rules themselves.

"That is not acceptable, and I have made it clear all along that if people have broken the law then they need to be held accountable to the law and punished appropriately, wherever it happened and whatever their status."