‘He’s toast’ Boris Johnson warned ‘there’s no way back for him’ after confidence vote

Boris Johnson is 'toast' after vote says Anna Soubry

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Former Conservative MP Anna Soubry has sounded alarm bells around Boris Johnson’s political survival as he scraped through a confidence vote in Parliament which saw him prevailing with a narrow 211-148 victory.

Speaking to Talk TV, she warned: “He now finds himself in that position. I think he’s toast.

“There’s no way back for him.”

Piers Morgan cut her off, asking: “Just to clarify, how does he become toast?”

Ms Soubry said: “If you have any time for Johnson at the moment, you would have voted in favour of him.

“There will have been conservative MPs who would’ve given him if you like the benefit of the doubt but have such a huge number, especially among backbenchers because of this thing called the payroll. That’s people who get government jobs who you would expect to be loyal to the prime minister as their members of his government.

“It’s those backbenchers and they go right across the party, the different wings of the party. And so, slowly more people – you know, it’s natural – want to be on the winning side. And they will see the winning side as not being Boris Johnson.

“Remember, we haven’t even had the two by-elections that are due on June 23, both of which are going to be really bad news for Boris Johnson.”

Boris Johnson’s narrow victory comes ahead of a potentially disastrous defeat in the Wakefield by-election. According to JL Partners’ latest survey, Conservatives are trailing behind Labour in the constituency by 20 percentage points, with Labour put at 48 percent and the Tories at 28 percent. 

When asked about the impact of the no-confidence vote, she said: “Oh, this is a big blow. Big blow.

“And remember, credit to Boris Johnson because he’s been the leader since 2019 when he got that big, huge majority – the biggest majority since the days of Margaret Thatcher. And yet, in a really short period of time, because of course, we’ve had two years of pandemic, so it’s not been normal time, he now finds himself in this position.”

Even if he survives the confidence vote, the prime minister still faces slumping polls. YouGov’s voting intention tracker has placed Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party behind Labour since December 2021 when the Partygate scandal broke.

The prime minister also faces the prospect of a Labour-led investigation into whether he lied to parliament over Partygate, which could further taint his reputation over the summer and take him on the way out.

Both former Conservative leaders, Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May, went on to lose power after winning a confidence vote.

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According to party rules, Mr Johnson cannot technically face another confidence vote for 12 months. But the 1922 committee chairman Sir Graham Brady confirmed today that rules can be changed if the prime minister survives tonight’s vote to hold another vote in less than a year.

Tory rebels had been dithering for months over the timing to trigger a vote of confidence. The local elections, the Sue Gray report and the Platinum Jubilee celebrations delayed the motion until today.

The upcoming by-elections in Wakefield will be another electoral test for the prime minister. 

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