Boris Johnson latest news: Prime Minister meets Cabinet after no confidence vote, results and reaction to poll
Boris Johnson’s result was worse than that of his predecessor Theresa May when she faced a confidence vote in 2018
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The Prime Minister insisted he had secured a “decisive” victory despite 148 of his own MPs voting to oust him and argued the government could now “move on” and focus on what “really matters to people”.
Allies have rallied round Mr Johnson, but former Tory leader Lord William Hague said “the damage done to his premiership is severe” and he should quit rather than prolong the agony.
Lord Hague wrote in The Times: “While Johnson has survived the night, the damage done to his premiership is severe.
“Words have been said that cannot be retracted, reports published that cannot be erased, and votes have been cast that show a greater level of rejection than any Tory leader has ever endured and survived.
“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.”
Tory MPs voted by 211 to 148 in support of Mr Johnson - a majority of jus 63 - but the scale of the revolt against his leadership left him wounded.
His result was worse than that of his predecessor Theresa May when she faced a confidence vote in 2018. She secured the support of 63% of her MPs, while the Prime Minister only received 59%. Mrs May was still forced out within six months of her leadership contest.
Mr Johnson claims the vote allows him to draw a line under the question of his leadership despite 41% of his MPs having no confidence in him.
As he prepared for a Cabinet meeting in No 10, he said: “This is a government that delivers on what the people of this country care about most.
“We have pledged £37 billion to support households with their finances, made our communities safer through hiring 13,500 more police officers, and tackled the Covid backlogs in the NHS by opening nearly 100 Community Diagnostic Centres so people can access care closer to home.
“Today, I pledge to continue delivering on these priorities. We are on the side of hard-working British people, and we are going to get on with the job.”
Results in full
Tory MPs were asked the following question:
Do you have confidence in Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party:
- Yes: 211
- No: 148
- Majority: 63
A total of 359 votes were cast - which means that every Tory MP voted - with no spoiled ballots.
Speaking after the vote, 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 needed to call a snap election to secure a new mandate from the public, insisting he was focused on people’s priorities.
Allies of the PM insist his ballot victory should draw a line under the question of his leadership, but Labour is moving to apply further pressure on the PM by pushing a Commons vote on standards.
The party is urging MPs from all sides to back calls for Mr Johnson’s ethics adviser to be given the freedom to launch his own investigations into potential ministerial rule breaches.
Reaction as Boris Johnson narrowly wins confidence vote
PM told of no confidence vote yesterday
Sir Graham said he told Mr Johnson on Sunday that the threshold of 15% of the parliamentary party calling for a confidence vote had been passed and they agreed a timetable for it to be held.
He said: “I have followed the rules that we have in place. I notified the Prime Minister yesterday and we agreed the timetable for the confidence vote to take place.
“He shared my view, which is also in line with the rules that we have in place, that that vote should happen as soon as it could reasonably take place and that would be today.”
Liz Truss gives backing to PM
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said Mr Johnson has her full backing in tonight’s confidence vote and urged other MPs to support him.
In a tweet, she wrote: “The Prime Minister has my 100% backing in today’s vote and I strongly encourage colleagues to support him.
“He has delivered on Covid recovery and supporting Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. He has apologised for mistakes made. We must now focus on economic growth.”
Sajid Javid says no confidence vote will be an ‘opportunity'
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said the no confidence vote in Boris Johnson’s leadership will be an “opportunity” for the Tory party to move on and focus on the “big challenges at hand”.
Speaking about the announcement on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “Well, it’s not what I wanted to see – I think the country wants to see us focus on the big challenges at hand.
“But, you know, we are a very proud democratic party. (I) have full respect for all my colleagues, I understand their frustrations for those that have called for a vote, but, as a democratic party with very clear and fair rules, this vote will now take place.”
He added: “I see it as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for the party to put behind it all this frenzied speculation we’ve had over the last few days and to get behind a programme of delivery.
“That’s what I’m here doing today – I’m talking to you from Kingston Hospital – dealing with those Covid backlogs, doing what we can.”
“There’s many challenges ahead so this is an opportunity tonight for all my colleagues to get behind this programme.”
Health Secretary will stand by PM
Sajid Javid has said he is standing by the Prime Minister despite having previously resigned from Boris Johnson’s Cabinet in 2020 when he was Chancellor.
He said he is supporting Mr Johnson and hopes more of his colleagues will do the same in tonight’s confidence vote.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The Prime Minister will speak to my colleagues at the 1922 meeting tonight and then they will of course make up their own mind.
“And, as I say that, let me be clear, I love my party. I think there’s a lot that we can be proud of. It’s a very proud democratic party.
“No leader that I’ve known of my party has got 100% support from every single colleague but we make decisions through due process openly and transparently, and tonight is an opportunity to put all this behind us and get on with the job.”
Tories back PM saying he ‘got the big calls right’
Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab have both given their backing to Boris Johnson ahead of tonight’s confidence vote.
Mr Sunak said the PM has shown “strong leadership our country needs” in his response to the war in Ukraine and the Covid vaccine rollout, while Mr Raab said he has “got the big calls right” and called on MPs to “back him, unite and focus on delivering the people’s priorities”.
Fellow Tories have also expressed their support for Mr Johnson on social media ahead of the vote, with Foreign Office minister James Cleverley tweeting: “I’m not going to go flaky on him now.”
Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the PM has his “full backing”, adding: “He got the key big decisions right… he has apologised for mistakes made, and we owe it to our constituents to focus on delivering to make lives better.”
Many Tory backbenchers have also voiced their support, with Beaconsfield MP Joy Morrissey describing Monday’s vote as “a self-indulgent distraction the only effect of which will be to embolden a pitiful opposition”.
Others including Rachel Maclean, Mark Jenkinson, Stuart Anderson, Simon Clarke and Will Quince also said they will be backing the Prime Minister.
Keir Stamer calls on Tories to ‘show some leadership’
Sir Keir Starmer has said Tory MPs must “show some leadership” and vote against Boris Johnson tonight.
The Labour leader said the PM has “lost the trust of the country” and said it is up to Conservatives to step up and “get rid of him”.
Speaking to LBC Radio, he said: “I think they have got to show some leadership and vote against the Prime Minister.
“He has lost, I think, the trust of the country – that is pretty clear from the evidence that I have seen.”
The Opposition leader said many people in his party have said it is “very good” for them if Mr Johnson stays because he is “so damaged”, but he believes it is time for him to go.
Sir Keir added: “Looking at the national interest, I think Tory MPs have got to step up, show leadership and get rid of him.”
Allies warn Russian invasion is reason for PM to stay
The Prime Minister’s allies have warned that the Russian invasion is a reason why the leader should not be changed.
Boris Johnson focused on the war in Ukraine in his first public statement since the confidence vote was announced today, saying the UK will gift Ukrainian armed forces with a supply of rocket artillery systems.
He said: “We cannot stand by while Russian long-range artillery flattens cities and kills innocent civilians..
“The UK will gift the Ukrainian armed forces multiple-launch rocket systems so they can effectively repel the continuing Russian onslaught.”
No 10 ‘welcomes’ vote as chance to ‘move on'
Downing Street has said that Boris Johnson “welcomes the opportunity to make his case to MPs” ahead of tonight’s confidence vote.
A vote of confidence will take place at Westminster on Monday between 6pm and 8pm, with the count to take place immediately afterwards.
It comes after Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, confirmed he had received the 54 letters from Conservative MPs needed to trigger the ballot.
A No 10 spokeswoman said the vote was “a chance to end months of speculation and allow the government to draw a line and move on”.
Confidence vote is ‘judgment day’ for PM
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said tonight’s confidence vote marks “judgment day” for the Prime Minister, adding that it will be “an insult” to the public if Boris Johnson survives the vote in light of the Sue Gray ‘partygate’ report.
In a tweet, he wrote: “It’s judgment day for Conservative MPs and their sleaze-ridden Prime Minister.
“If they fail to sack Boris Johnson, it will be an insult to all those who made sacrifices and suffered while he partied.”
Jeremy Hunt says he is voting ‘for change'
Jeremy Hunt has confirmed he will not be supporting the Prime Minister in the confidence vote this evening, saying he will instead be “voting for change”.
The former foreign secretary, who stood against Boris Johnson in 2019, said that he would vote against Boris Johnson, warning that the Tories would lose the next election if he remained in post.
He said: “Having been trusted with power, Conservative MPs know in our hearts we are not giving the British people the leadership they deserve.
“We are not offering the integrity, competence and vision necessary to unleash the enormous potential of our country.
“And because we are no longer trusted by the electorate, who know this too, we are set to lose the next general election.
“Anyone who believes our country is stronger, fairer and more prosperous when led by Conservatives should reflect that the consequence of not changing will be to hand the country to others who do not share those values.
“Today’s decision is change or lose. I will be voting for change.”