UK’s wounded Johnson presses on despite Tory rebellion

UK’s wounded Johnson presses on despite Tory rebellion

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson convened his cabinet on Tuesday, vowing to “get on with the job” after surviving a confidence vote of Conservative MPs that has left him severely weakened.The beleaguered leader has claimed that Monday evening’s dramatic ballot, which saw 211 Tory party lawmakers support him remaining prime minister but 148 vote against, was a “decisive result”.

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But most critics and commentators disagreed, arguing his authority has been hugely undermined and his days in Downing Street are numbered.

The Times called him “a wounded victor” while his former employers at the Daily Telegraph branded it “a hollow victory that tears Tories apart”.

The vote — just over two years after the Brexit architect won a landslide general election victory — was brought after a string of scandals that have left the Conservative party’s standing in tatters.

Most of Johnson’s cabinet publicly backed him in the secret ballot, but more than 40 percent of the parliamentary party — and almost certainly a majority of backbenchers — did not, with the rebels coming from various Tory factions.

Under current party rules he cannot be challenged again for a year, which leaves little time for any new leader to emerge before the next general election due by 2024.

In previous Tory confidence ballots, Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May scored better than Johnson yet despite narrowly winning their votes, both ultimately resigned after deciding that their premierships were terminally damaged.

Johnson has steadfastly refused to resign over “Partygate” and shows no sign of doing so now.

“Today, I pledge to continue delivering,” Johnson said before the cabinet meeting.

“We are on the side of hard-working British people, and we are going to get on with the job.”

‘Not a win’
Johnson has spent months fighting for his political survival after a series of controversies culminated in the “Partygate” saga.

Various opinion polls have shown the public think he lied about the scandal and should resign.

Most of Johnson’s cabinet publicly backed him in the secret ballot, but more than 40 percent of the parliamentary party — and almost certainly a majority of backbenchers — did not, with the rebels coming from various Tory factions.

Under current party rules he cannot be challenged again for a year, which leaves little time for any new leader to emerge before the next general election due by 2024.

In previous Tory confidence ballots, Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May scored better than Johnson yet despite narrowly winning their votes, both ultimately resigned after deciding that their premierships were terminally damaged.

Johnson has steadfastly refused to resign over “Partygate” and shows no sign of doing so now.

“Today, I pledge to continue delivering,” Johnson said before the cabinet meeting.

“We are on the side of hard-working British people, and we are going to get on with the job.”

‘Not a win’
Johnson has spent months fighting for his political survival after a series of controversies culminated in the “Partygate” saga.

Various opinion polls have shown the public think he lied about the scandal and should resign.

Amy Jackson

Amy Jackson