Boris Johnson rejects lame duck assertion after 148 Tory MPs vote against his leadership
Boris Johnson insisted he had secured a “decisive” victory despite a confidence vote which saw 148 of his own MPs try to oust him.
Tory MPs voted by 211 to 148 in support of the Prime Minister but the scale of the revolt against his leadership leaves him wounded.
When Theresa May faced a confidence vote in 2018 she secured the support of 63% of her MPs but was still forced out within six months.
Mr Johnson saw 41% of his MPs vote against him, a worse result than Mrs May.
But the Prime Minister told reporters in Downing Street: “I think it’s an extremely good, positive, conclusive, decisive result which enables us to move on, to unite and to focus on delivery and that is exactly what we are going to do.”
He rejected the assertion that he was now a lame duck prime minister who needed to call a snap election to secure a new mandate from the public, insisting he was focused on the public’s priorities.
The scale of the revolt against Mr Johnson’s leadership has left him vulnerable, and he could suffer further blows in two key by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton on June 23.
But he was bullish as he told reporters that he had secured a “very good result for politics and for the country”.
In a speech after the Prime Minister survived a confidence vote, the Labour leader claimed the result means the Tory party believes “breaking the law is no impediment to making the law” and that people have “no right to expect honest politicians”.
Referring to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which he described as a tribute to “humility, decency and respect”, Sir Keir also argued it was “grotesque” that the day after the celebrations ended, the Conservatives had thrown those values “on the bonfire”.
In his statement, Sir Keir said: “This evening, the Conservative Party had a decision to make. To show some backbone or to back Boris Johnson.
“The British public are fed up.
“Fed up with a Prime Minister who promises big but never delivers.
“Fed up with a Prime Minister who has presided over a culture of lies and lawbreaking at the heart of government.
“Fed up with a Prime Minister who is utterly unfit for the great office he holds.
“Conservative MPs made their choice tonight.
“They have ignored the British public and hitched themselves and their party firmly to Boris Johnson and everything he represents.”
He went on to say: “The Conservative Party now believes that good government focused on improving lives is too much to ask.
“The Conservative Party now believes that breaking the law is no impediment to making the law.
“The Conservative Party now believes that the British public have no right to expect honest politicians.
“Over the weekend the whole country celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
“It was a tribute to 70 years of humility, decency and respect.
“A reminder of our common cause to build a better a country for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.
“It is grotesque that the very next day the Conservative Party has chosen to throw that sense of duty and those values on the bonfire.”
Sir Keir argued the choice in British politics is “clearer tonight than ever before”.
“A Labour Party united under my leadership with a plan to ensure Britain is never again plunged into a cost of living crisis, focused on growing the economy so that we can afford world class schools and hospitals, and determined to restore trust in politics.
“Or a Conservative Party that is divided, propping up Boris Johnson with no plan to tackle the issues facing you and your family,” he said.
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