Boris Johnson has survived a confidence vote in his leadership of the Tory party but his authority has been dealt a significant blow.
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.
That’s 59% for, 41% against. It would have required 180 votes against to topple the PM.
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.
Announcing the results, Sir Graham Brady said: “Good evening.
“I can report as returning officer that 359 ballots were cast, no spoilt ballots, that the vote in favour of having confidence in Boris Johnson as leader was 211 votes and a vote against was 148 votes.
“And therefore, I can announce that the parliamentary party does have confidence in Boris Johnson.”
Boris Johnson insisted it was an “extremely good” result despite a worse performance than Theresa May in the confidence vote.
“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 told reporters in Downing Street.
He ruled out a snap election in order to gain a new mandate from the public, insisting he was focused on the public’s priorities.
The Prime Minister said: “I see no point in focusing on anything else and I’m certainly not interested in snap elections. What I’m interested in is delivering right now for the people of this country.”
‘Time for new PM’
One of the earliest Conservative MPs to demand Mr Johnson’s resignation in the light of the Sue Gray report into Partygate was York Outer MP Julian Sturdy.
Tonight, Mr Sturdy said:
The scale of the vote against the Prime Minister this evening is clear evidence that he no longer enjoys the full-hearted confidence of the parliamentary party and should consider his position.
As someone who supported Boris Johnson in the 2019 leadership election and wants to deliver the manifesto promises made at the last general election, it is regrettable that I had to vote against the Prime Minister but, as I have made clear in previous statements, I no longer have confidence in his ability to lead us through the challenges we face as a nation.
With a global cost of living crisis impacting family budgets and war returning to Europe, the public should not have to doubt the honesty or integrity of our Prime Minister and our Government’s focus should not be questioned.
I remain focused on delivering for my York constituents, but feel it is important to be honest about my considered view that the interests of our city and country are best served by a new Prime Minister.
The Labour MP for York Central, Rachael Maskell, tweeted tonight: “The Prime Minister is now so badly wounded, that he can’t keep limping on, dragging the country down with him… #Resign”.
Shortly before the vote the Conservative Member of Parliament for Thirsk and Malton Kevin Hollinrake said he was backing Boris Johnson.
I am voting with the Prime Minister this evening. I don’t feel that his breaches of the rules are sufficiently serious to warrant the resignation of the leader of this nation, not least one who led us to decisive victories for the leadership, in the general election and Hartlepool (12 months ago) and delivered on Brexit.
We need to let him get on with the job of tackling the cost of living and supporting Ukraine in their battle against Putin.
Former Conservative leader of City of York Council Chris Steward tweeted this tonight:
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said a “divided” Conservative Party is “propping up” Boris Johnson after the Prime Minister survived the confidence vote.
“The choice is clearer than ever before: Divided Tories propping up Boris Johnson with no plan to tackle the issues you are facing,” he tweeted.
“Or a united Labour Party with a plan to fix the cost-of-living crisis and restore trust in politics. Labour will get Britain back on track.”
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: “Conservative MPs are now fully responsible for the Prime Minister’s behaviour. They have narrowly voted to keep a lawbreaker and liar in Number 10.
“Whilst Boris Johnson has clung on today – make no mistake, his reputation is in tatters and his authority is now totally shot.”