Tom Goodenough

Boris survives confidence vote – for now

Boris survives confidence vote – for now
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Boris Johnson has won a confidence vote in his leadership – but nearly 150 Tory MPs voted against him in a huge blow to the Prime Minister's leadership. The PM won the support of 211 Conservative MPs, while 148 voted against him in the ballot of Tory MPs. 

The PM insisted that this was a 'very good result for politics and for the country.' Reacting to the ballot, Boris Johnson said: 'What we want to do is get on'.

Boris's allies have rallied around the PM in the wake of the vote, with Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi saying Boris had won 'handsomely'. Zahawi added: 'What do you think president Zelensky is doing tonight? He’s punching the air because his great ally Boris Johnson has won.'

But the size of the vote against the PM means that Boris has fared worse in a confidence vote than John Major did in 1995 and Theresa May in 2018. The PM also did worse than Margaret Thatcher in her confidence vote against Michael Heseltine in 1990. 

Roger Gale, a prominent critic of the PM, said Boris had to go: 'I don't believe he should take the party into the next election. A prime minister of honour would look at the figures...and consider his position'.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said the British people are 'fed up' with Boris Johnson. Speaking in the aftermath of tonight's vote, he said: 'Conservative MPs made their choice tonight. They have ignored the British people'. Labour MP David Lammy said the PM was 'like a B 52 bomber that has lost its engines'. But Downing Street insisted that the result represented 'a decisive win that renews the PM’s mandate'.

Written byTom Goodenough

Tom Goodenough is online editor of The Spectator.

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