UK: Johnson to carry on despite suffering significant rebellion by Tory MPs

By Hamed Chapman


London (The Muslim News): Jeremy Hunt, Penny Mordaunt and Tom Tugendhat have been installed among the initial favourites to eventual replace Boris Johnson after the Prime Minister suffered a much worse revolt in a vote of no confidence from the parliamentary Conservative party.

Johnson secured the backing of only 211 of the 359 Tory MPs in the secret ballot held in the House of Commons on Monday night, while no less than 148 expressed no confidence in the Prime Minister.

Yet, despite the unexpected size of the rebellion, Johnson indicated that he would be carrying on, insisting that the no confidence vote was “a very good result for politics and for the country.”

“In this sense I think it’s a convincing result, a decisive result and what it means is that as a Government we can move on and focus on the stuff that I think really matters to people,” he said.

He was backed by cabinet ministers such as Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, claiming he had secured “a fresh mandate” and Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, describing that the Prime Minister had won “handsomely”.

But Labour Leader, Keir Starmer, said the country was “fed up with a Prime Minister who promises big but never delivers” and the Conservative party “believes the British public now have no right to expect honest politicians”, while Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said Johnson’s reputation is “in tatters and his authority is now totally shot”.

The Liberal Democrats will today table a Parliamentary no confidence motion in Boris Johnson.

“Liberal Democrats are tabling a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister, so that Parliament has the opportunity to finally put an end to this sorry mess and kick him out of Downing Street. Every Conservative MP who has a shred of decency must back our motion and finally give Johnson the sack,” said Davey.

Even among senior Conservatives there was much dismay led by former party leader William Hague who called on Johnson to leave office, saying he has experienced a “greater level of rejection” than any of his predecessors.

“Deep inside, he should recognise that, and turn his mind to getting out in a way that spares party and country such agonies and uncertainties,” Hague said in an article for The Times, adding that nature of the particular revolt makes it “qualitatively as well as quantitatively devastating,”

His performance of gaining just 59 per cent was worse than 66 per cent gained by Theresa May in a similar ballot in December 2018 which led to Johnson replacing her six months later after she felt obliged to resign.

The rebellion was also of equal proportion to what Margaret Thatcher faced in a fateful leadership challenge in 1990 that also led to her demise after being in power for 11 years.

Rory Stewart, the former international trade secretary who stood against Johnson for the Tory leadership in 2019, said “the only question is how long the agony is prolonged” with a breakdown of the result showing that “almost 75% of Tory MPs not dependent on his patronage voted against him.”

[Photo: Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson leave St Paul’s Cathedral after attending Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London, on June 03, 2022. PM was booed by some members of the public when he came to St Paul’s Cathedral. Photojournalist :Victor Szymanowicz/AA]

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