Tory rebels continue calls for Johnson’s resignation after confidence vote
By Laura Parnaby, PA
Conservative MPs remain divided over Boris Johnson’s premiership in the aftermath of the confidence motion against him, and some are still calling for him to resign.
The Prime Minister won 211 votes on Monday night, but a significant minority of 148 Tory MPs voted to usurp him and several have said his days in the role are now numbered.
Following the vote, Andrew Bridgen said Mr Johnson should “now leave with honour”.
The North West Leicestershire MP shared an article by former Tory leader Lord Hague which said Mr Johnson has experienced a “greater level of rejection” than any of his predecessors and should quit.
Writing on Twitter, Mr Bridgen said: “Lord Hague is right. The residual concerns from across the party will continue to remain.
“Last night’s vote is worse in percentage terms than that suffered by Mrs May and on a par with Heseltine’s challenge against Mrs Thatcher.
“The Prime Minister should now leave with honour and residual affection for what he has achieved.”
Sir Roger Gale, an outspoken critic of Mr Johnson, agreed that he should not take the party into the next general election.
Speaking to Sky News, the North Thanet MP highlighted that “over a third of the parliamentary party has expressed no confidence in the Prime Minister”.
Asked if he thinks Mr Johnson should continue as Prime Minister, he said: “No, I’ve expressed my view very clearly.
“I don’t believe that he should take the party into the next general election, and I think there are other elephant traps down the road – two by-elections coming up, the Privileges Committee report in the autumn.
“There are a lot of hurdles ahead and I think a Prime Minister of honour would look at the figures, accept the fact that he has lost the support of a significant proportion of his party and consider his position, but I don’t think he’ll do that.”
Former minister Tobias Ellwood, who has been calling for Mr Johnson to go since February, said he thinks Mr Johnson has only “a matter of months” left in his post and called for a Cabinet reshuffle.
The Bournemouth East MP told Sky News there is now “a lot of work to be done: a reshuffle is now required – bring in fresh talent, and actually start to focus on the big issues, make the Cabinet construct actually work”.
Asked how long he believes Mr Johnson will remain as Prime Minister, he said: “I think we’re talking a matter of months, up to party conference.”
Senior Tory Philip Dunne, who also voted against Mr Johnson, said the leader still faces some “very choppy waters”.
The Ludlow MP told BBC Radio Shropshire: “I took the view that it would be better to provide the opportunity for integrity, for a new vision for the party and a new degree of competence at the heart of government.
“It’s not going to happen for now, but we’ll have to see what happens in the coming weeks and months. This is not over.”
He added: “He’s got some very difficult challenges ahead – the by-elections, he’s got this Privileges Committee investigation – we’ve got some very tricky conditions ahead through the economy, challenges with the Northern Irish Protocol.
“There are some very choppy waters ahead and they’d be difficult to navigate for anyone.”