Johnson survives… for now… Liberal Democrats respond

211-148 does not make for a secure mandate, especially given the scale of the payroll vote. But, at least for the time being, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson continues as Prime Minister.

Liberal Democrat President Mark Pack probably best sums up the outcome from a Liberal Democrat perspective;

Deputy Leader, Daisy Cooper, expresses what many will be thinking;

Tim Farron makes the point that Boris doesn’t believe in the same rules that the rest of us do;

But whilst there is almost certainly political advantage to be had, the country will continue to suffer under his chaotic, dishonest leadership. Anyone who believes in good governance will despair that 211 Conservative MPs have no qualms over backing a man who has torn apart the rules that enable our democracy to operate freely.

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16 Comments

  • Andy Boddington 7th Jun '22 - 6:19am

    Between 160 and 170 MPs are on the government payroll. Though some may have voted against Johnson, it could be that fewer than 50 backbenchers expressed support.

  • It’s panto time in parliament… From now on, every time the matter of leadership comes up, the line from Davey, Starmer and Blackford should be “He’s behind you!”

  • My concern after last night’s result is that Johnson is such a wounded chancer and risk taker that he will take some rash initiative somewhere, probably in the Ukraine, to demonstrate his political virility. This could be, quite literally, deadly serious.

    It’s in the country’s best and safest interests that the byelections in Yorkshire and Devon finish the job off now tout suite.

  • Rif Winfield 7th Jun '22 - 10:07am

    The result of last night’s vote is the very worst possible outcome for the Tories (as well as for the rest of the country), and Liberals should not hesitate to point this out to them. Boris has secured his position for another twelve months (unless the 1922 Committee changes its rules, as it may well do!), which will take him to within a year of the likely date of a General Election. That means that even if the Conservatives find the courage in June 2023 to ditch Boris, any new Tory leader would only have a few months to establish themself. And given the likely drubbing that the Tories will get at the by-elections on 23rd June, I am suspicious that the timing of last night’s vote was contrived just to give Boris that security; it’s not impossible that No.10 asked a number of Tory MPs to put in letters to Sir Graham Brady just in order to expedite the vote, and get it out of the way before the by-elections!

  • If the Tories do replace him before a General Election there will be the additional obstacle of a political honeymoon period in which the opposition and media have not got the measure of him /her and may find it difficult to effectively attack . Let Johnson go down badly at a General Election.

  • Graham Jeffs 7th Jun '22 - 10:14am

    Yet we must surely refocus our attention (and that of the public) so that this saga is not perceived purely as a Boris issue – his behaviour and attitudes have now been endorsed by the majority of Conservative MPs. We should be saying to the public “what does that say about the Conservative Party?”

    There is a fair chance that any replacement for Boris may merely be a more accomplished performer – not a better person – and the insidious rolling back of democracy shall continue.

  • Barry Lofty 7th Jun '22 - 10:14am

    The snake oil salesman has been found out at long last, a great pity it has taken so long?

  • Andrew Toye 7th Jun '22 - 10:16am

    It’s not good for democracy that many people of a centre-right perspective and decent values (although misguided on their policy conclusions) feel that they don’t have a party to vote for at the present time. Yes, many will “lend” us their vote (Chesham & Amersham, Shropshire North and hopefully Tiverton & Honiton) and we may well pick up some genuine converts – but that’s not sustainable long term and the Tories know it. I can imagine a John Major – type person taking over as a “safe pair of hands” to calm things down, at least until the next general election.

  • Graham Jeffs 7th Jun ’22 – 10:14am………There is a fair chance that any replacement for Boris may merely be a more accomplished performer – not a better person – and the insidious rolling back of democracy shall continue………….

    Unless the Tory party ‘take a punt’ at a complete unknown (unlikely) there are no ‘more accomplished performers’ in the line up’. Johnson got rid of all but sycophantic non=entities to safeguard his position..When Sunak looked strong a ‘leak’ knocked him back..
    The fact that there are no alternative leaders is what made Johnson’s vote so bad; he beat Hunt for the leadership but, in the confidence vote, 41% of his party voted for ‘no-one else’ rather than him..

  • David Evans 7th Jun '22 - 11:38am

    Andrew, you say it is not sustainable to keep “people of a centre-right perspective and decent values” who lend us their votes after Johnson. But we did it for many years up to 2010 in large swathes of the country, and it was only the mismanagement of coalition that lost them. We are now rebuilding in parts of the West country like Somerset. So things are looking up.

    Ultimately, I think that the only thing that will make it not sustainable to keep them is if we aren’t prepared to work hard to keep them or if we go off on the trendy leftie stuff that is an anathema to sensible centre right voters.

    We have once more a great opportunity. We really mustn’t squander it all again.

  • Barry Lofty 7th Jun '22 - 12:03pm

    I agree with David Evans if the new Lib Dem MPs elected in seats such as Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire work hard for their constituents, and going by the evidence so far there is doubt they will, why should the Lib Dems not hold onto those seats and win others hopefully, after all the Tories have been taking them granted for decades.

  • Barry Lofty 7th Jun '22 - 12:05pm

    SORRY! No doubt!!

  • Helen Dudden 7th Jun '22 - 12:20pm

    There needs to be more transparency in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
    Are those who donate to Political Parties more important.
    Politics is falling deeper into a large black hole lack of honesty and morals. Johnson and his colleagues want to survive at any cost to the British people.
    Any PPE funding that was not legally used should be returned, MPs must be aware it’s monies from the tax payer. Do those with second and third homes need the financial support for housing.

  • @Andrew Toye “It’s not good for democracy that many people of a centre-right perspective and decent values (although misguided on their policy conclusions) feel that they don’t have a party to vote for at the present time. “

    Totally disagree, it is good for democracy that a large number of people are waking up to the simple fact – the Conservative party never really represented them. The challenge for the LibDems is how to move towards “the right” and thus position themselves as the party for decent centre-right individuals; pushing the Conservatives into the same space as UKIP.

  • Paul Barker 7th Jun '22 - 3:40pm

    To emphasise Andy Boddington,s point, if we make the reasonable assumption that most of the “Payroll” Vote went to Johnson – that means that Three Quarters of his Backbenchers Voted to sack him. As far as I can see no Journalist has raised this point so its up to us to repeat it Ad Nauseam.

    This result makes a General Election in the Autumn more likely, especially if there is any attempt to change the Rule against another Challenge.

  • Alex Macfie 8th Jun '22 - 7:24am

    Kim Campbell was considered a “safe pair of hands” after the Johnson-esque Brian Mulroney. That and a political “honeymoon” did not save the Canadian Tories from an electoral drubbing in 1993, in which the Proressive Conservative Party was reduced to
    2 seats and Campbell lost her own seat. She never had the chance to establish her own profile and thus come out of Mulroney’s shadow. If the UK Tories replace ohnson a few months before a GE, the new leader could well be their Kim Campbell. Contrast with John Major, who had time to establish his own persona as PM after Thatcher.

    @David Evans: What “trendy leftie stuff”? Trendy lefties are generally found in Labour and the 57 Varieties. Liberals and Lib Dems have never bought into the knee-jerk anti-westernism and obsession with class that defines trendy lefties.

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