Confidence vote

The game is up, Boris Johnson

The worst possible outcome for the Conservative and Unionist party is also a pretty lousy result for the country. That this needs saying – that Tory MPs need reminding of this – is itself yet another data point supporting the proposition that Boris Johnson’s leadership has thoroughly corrupted the party. So what to do now? This is now the necessary question. Since Johnson will not depart voluntarily he must be pushed. Those cabinet ministers with an ounce – imperial measurements, obviously – of moral fibre must surely recognise the game is up. This barky won’t float. You cannot credibly lose the support of 40 per cent of the party –

Wolfgang Münchau

How Boris can cling on

What is happening in the UK right now is similar to the later Berlusconi years, the opera buffa phase of Italian politics with bunga-bunga parties, and worse. Readers may remember Berlusconi’s infamous put-down of recession warnings in 2009, when he remarked that he was not worried because the restaurants were still full. I remember having a conversation with a senior minister in his cabinet at the time, who said it was absolutely clear that Berlusconi had to go, and it was just a matter of time. It took another three years. And it was the euro crisis that did it, an event still unforeseen in 2008. History never quite repeats