Support grows for a no confidence vote in Parliament

Last month, around the time of the Tories’ own internal no confidence vote, Ed Davey called tabled a no confidence motion in Parliament. At that stage it had no hope of succeeding, but was clearly stating the Lib Dem position on Boris Johnson as PM.

Today Angela Rayner is publicly voicing support for the idea.  She says Labour will call for a no confidence vote if Boris Johnson is still in post on Monday. Ed Davey has said he will back it.

Of course, the motion will only succeed if it some disgruntled Tories vote for it – but there are quite a few of them at present.

All this is designed to put pressure on the Tories to do the decent thing and make sure Johnson exits No 10 at the earliest opportunity. Here is Ed speaking this morning on Sky News.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • Michael Cole 8th Jul '22 - 3:37pm

    “The word caretaker can’t apply to Boris Johnson – he has never cared for anything in his life”.

    Good soundbite from Ed.

    But we must be sure to blame the whole Conservative party for the mess in which this country finds itself. It’s not simply a case of getting rid of Johnson. I think Ed is aware of this.

    We have been appallingly governed for the past 7 (arguably longer) years.

    Recovery will not be easy. It will be painful and will take time. It will not be simply a case of following Labour’s ‘plan’.

  • I thought that a ‘vote of no confidence’, if carried, automatically triggered a GE.. If so then why would any Tory MP, in the current situation, vote for it?.

  • Andrew Melmoth 8th Jul '22 - 7:50pm

    VONC doesn’t automatically lead to a GE if there is a reasonable expectation that someone else can command a majority and form a government. It’s possible there are enough Tory MP’s sufficiently alarmed by the prospect of a ‘rogue’ PM staying in power for months that they would contemplate bringing down Johnson immediately in the expectation that Raab could be installed as an interim PM while the Tory leadership contest ran it’s course.
    Pretty doubtful though. The optics would be bad for the Tories and there is a significant risk Johnson loyalists would frustrate the attempt to form a new government.

  • Helen Dudden 9th Jul '22 - 10:05am

    How will anyone convince the voters after this saga, things will change.

  • Laurence Cox 9th Jul '22 - 11:18am

    @Andrew Melmoth

    What you are suggesting, that the Queen could choose not to grant a dissolution in the event of a VoNC in the Government, is bringing the Monarchy into politics. Had the Tories not repealed the FTPA, there was a provision in it after a VoNC for a new Government to seek a vote of confidence within 14 days and if it succeeded a dissolution would not occur. As the Tories repealed the whole of that Act and explicitly returned the situation to that which pertained before the FTPA, the only justification for delaying a dissolution after a VoNC is to provide a few days for non-contentious legislation to pass its remaining stages. Labour, quite rightly, would expect a swift General Election to follow a VoNC.

    Johnson could have announced his resignation as PM at the same time as his resignation as leader of the Tory Party and asked the Queen to offer the position to someone who was not standing for the leadership (say Dominic Raab). Had that been done with the agreement of Cabinet, then there is no doubt that the Tory Party would have swung behind it. There is no constitutional requirement for a Prime Minister to be a Party Leader; Churchill became PM approximately six months before he became Tory Party Leader.

  • Paul Barker 9th Jul '22 - 1:27pm

    The VONC is unlikely to lead to an Election but given the Tory splits its not impossible. The most likely result of that Election, if any, is a solid Labour majority – just look at the Polls.

    We should point that out – it helps us.

  • Andrew Melmoth 9th Jul '22 - 7:47pm

    – Laurence Cox
    How did Ramsay MacDonald become PM in 1924? Dissolution of parliament is not a constitutional requirement or inevitable consequence of a VONC in an incumbent PM.

  • Andrew Melmoth is correct :

    HC Deb 21 January 1924 vol 169 cc532-685532
    Vote of No Confidence carried by 328 to 256

  • Laurence Cox 10th Jul '22 - 12:45pm

    @Andrew Melmoth, David Raw,

    The VoNC you refer to was immediately following the 6th December 1923 General Election, which produced a parliament having no overall majority for any Party (Tories 258 seats, Labour 191 seats, Liberals 158 seats), so it clearly is not a precedent in that the previous majority Tory government had lost its majority and was trying to hang on as a minority government. It is a well-established principle that the largest party in a hung parliament has the right to make the first attempt to form a government, as happened again in February 1974 and in 2010.

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