Greece's Tsipras faces confidence vote after backing ally

Greek lawmakers are holding a vote of confidence in the left-wing government, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras turned a censure motion against a junior minister into a test of his entire administration.

Tsipras is expected to win the ballot late Friday. His Syriza party has 145 seats in the 300-member parliament, but he's also counting on the support of independent lawmakers.

The vote follows a motion by main opposition, the conservative New Democracy party, against a deputy health minister over his disparaging remarks about one of its politicians who uses a wheelchair.

Tsipras backed his deputy minister, who has also sparked controversy by flouting laws against smoking in closed public areas, and requested a confidence vote.

Tsipras is trailing ND in opinion polls, and faces national elections in October.