‘It’s only a matter of time’ – South Tyneside MPs react following vote of confidence in Boris Johnson’s leadership

‘It’s only a matter of time’ – South Tyneside MPs have been reacting to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s narrow victory in tonight’s (June 6) Tory party vote of confidence in his leadership.

A total of 359 MPs voted with 211 backing the Prime Minister while a significant 148 said they no longer had confidence in his leadership.

The vote was triggered when at least 54 Tory MPs – 15 per cent - submitted formal letters to the chair of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, Sir Graham Brady, calling for a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

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South Tynside MPs brand Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘not fit for office’ and a ...

While the size of the vote against is no doubt damaging for the Prime Minister, Labour MP for Jarrow, Kate Osborne, has slammed the 211 Tory MPs who backed his leadership.

She said: “Boris Johnson has lied to Parliament, partied whilst people died and has proved incompetent again and again. Yet even now the majority of Tory MPs support this law breaking and chaotic Prime Minister who thinks the rules he imposed on us all don’t apply to him.

“These 211 Tory MPs are complicit in Boris Johnson’s attempt at wrecking democracy and confidence in our political system.

“This Conservative Government is in total chaos and has let down the British people for far too long.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a press conference in Downing Street following the publication of Sue Gray's report into parties in Whitehall during the coronavirus lockdown. Photograph: Leon Neal/PA Wire

“Voters will not forget this moment at the next General Election.”

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South Shields Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck added: “The Prime Minister survived tonight but it's only a matter of time. Shame on the 211 Tory MPs who voted to support him. Our country deserves so much better.”

The challenge to his leadership follows a turbulent year for Boris Johnson which saw him fined for being in breach of Covid lockdown rules as part of an investigation into the partygate scandal which saw the Metropolitan Police issue 126 fixed penalty notices for rule breaches in No 10 and Whitehall.

While a number of senior Tories called for the Boris Johnson to resign, it was the publication on May 25 of the Sue Gray report which appears to have been the last straw for many MPs who chose to formally trigger a vote of no confidence.

The official inquiry into the Downing Street partygate affair highlighted “failures of leadership and judgement” by the Prime Minister with the report identifying a series of events that “should not have been allowed to happen".

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At a time when the country was under strict lockdown restrictions the report identified staff carrying on drinking in No 10 until the early hours of the morning on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral and Boris Johnson joining five advisers in a "food and alcohol" event in his flat on the evening of the announcement of Dominic Cummings departure.

Other misdemenours included the use of a karaoke machine at a Cabinet Office gathering and that Mr Johnson had brought the cheese and wine from his own flat for the infamous “bring your own booze” garden gathering on May 15 2020.

Addressing Tory MPs before the vote, Mr Johnson had vowed to "lead you to victory again” and warned potential rebels about the dangers of “gratifying our opponents by turning in on ourselves”.