UK government demands changes to opposition confidence vote plan

·1-min read
Prime Minister's Questions at the House of Commons in London

LONDON (Reuters) -The British government will only allow the opposition Labour Party to call a confidence vote if they remove reference to outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson from the motion to be voted upon, a government spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Labour said earlier the government had blocked its plan to call a confidence vote, calling it an "abuse of power". Labour wants to prevent Johnson remaining in power while his successor is chosen - a process expected to take until Sept. 5.

Some of Johnson's own Conservative lawmakers have also previously expressed doubts about him remaining in power, saying they had lost faith in his honesty and integrity following a series of scandals.

By convention the government, which controls the allocation of parliamentary business, would normally free up time for a confidence vote called by the main opposition party.

But, a government spokeswoman said Labour had been given the opportunity to propose a "straightforward" confidence vote in the government.

"They have chosen to play politics by tabling a vote of no confidence in the government and the prime minister," the spokesperson said. "As the prime minister has already resigned and a leadership process is underway, we do not feel this is a valuable use of parliamentary time."

The spokesperson said Labour could have the vote if they amended their motion.

Labour said the refusal was without precedent.

"This clapped-out government is running scared and refusing to allow time to debate Labour’s vote of no confidence motion," a Labour spokeswoman said.

The final version of parliamentary business for Wednesday had not yet been published.

(Reporting by William James and Andrew MacAskill; editing by Michael Holden and Mark Heinrich)

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