Boris Johnson survives Tory vote of confidence

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference in Downing Street, London, following t

Boris Johnson has won the vote of confidence, 211 votes to 148 - Credit: PA

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.

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.

Mr Johnson saw 41% of his MPs vote against him, a worse result than Mrs May.

The prime minister made a last-ditch plea to Tory MPs to back him, promising future tax cuts and highlighting his own record of electoral success.

But with concern over the partygate scandal, economic policy, drifting opinion polls and Mr Johnson's style of leadership, the prime minister faced a difficult task to persuade his doubters.

A steady stream of Tory MPs called publicly for the prime minister to stand down in the wake of Sue Gray's report into breaches of the Covid regulations in No 10 and Whitehall.

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But Tory concerns go far wider, covering the Prime Minister's policies, which have seen the tax burden reach the highest in 70 years, and concerns about his style of politics.

Mr Johnson received the resignation of his anti-corruption tsar, John Penrose, who said the prime minister had breached the ministerial code over the partygate scandal and should quit.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said he would be voting against Mr Johnson, having heard "loud and clear the anger at the breaking of Covid rules".

But Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said it is "time to get back to the job of governing" after the vote.

The Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire tweeted: "The person Starmer doesn't want to face at an election is Boris Johnson who secured the biggest Conservative majority since 1987 and the highest share of the vote (43.6 per cent) of any party since 1979, with 14 million votes.

"Time to get back to the job of governing."

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."