Boris Johnson's government wins confidence vote after five-hour debate

18 July 2022, 18:43 | Updated: 19 July 2022, 00:33

Boris Johnson's government has won a confidence vote after a long debate
Boris Johnson's government has won a confidence vote after a long debate. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Boris Johnson's government has won a late night confidence vote in the House of Commons after a bad-tempered five-hour debate.

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The Prime Minister is now expected to continue in his role for the next seven weeks until a new Conservative Party leader is chosen to replace him.

MPs voted 349 to 238, majority 111, to support the motion stating that the Commons has confidence in the government.

Had the government lost, the country would have almost certainly faced an early general election.

Boris Johnson won the confidence vote
Boris Johnson won the confidence vote. Picture: Getty

The outgoing Prime Minister earlier acknowledged he could be more loved in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv than on the streets of west London.

Speaking in the Commons, the PM said: "If it is true that I'm more popular on the streets of Kyiv right now than I am in Kensington - if - that is because of the foresight and boldness of this Government in becoming the first European country to send them weapons, a decision that was made possible by the biggest investment in defence since the Cold War.

"Though I think that conflict will continue to be very hard, and our thoughts and prayers must continue to be with the people of Ukraine, I do believe that they must win and that they will win.

"When the people of Ukraine have won it'll also be a victory of right over wrong and of good over evil, and I think this Government saw it clearly and saw it whole and saw it faster than many other parts of the world, and that is why I have confidence in this Government.

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"By the way, I have absolutely zero confidence in the Opposition."

The Government tabled a confidence motion in itself after previously refusing to allow time for Labour to call a vote.

Mr Johnson has enjoyed a very close relationship with Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and won praise from the people for supplying vital military equipment, such as NLAW missiles that have decimated Russian tanks.

He kept the military theme by referring back to his video of his flight in a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet, and used it as an analogy for his view on the Tory party.

Read more: Where's Boris? PM skips second emergency heatwave Cobra meeting 'to host Chequers party'

The unity of its MPs has been called into question after a bitter clash between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss during a televised leadership debate.

"The vast twin Rolls-Royce engines of our Tory message, our Conservative values, will roar on - strong public services on the left, and a dynamic free market enterprise economy on the right, each boosting the other and developing trillions of pounds of thrust,” he said.

"The reason we keep winning is we're the only party that understands the need for both. Whatever happens in this contest we will continue to fight for the lowest possible taxes and the lightest possible regulation."

Boris Johnson has enjoyed an excellent relationship with Ukraine's President Zelenskyy
Boris Johnson has enjoyed an excellent relationship with Ukraine's President Zelenskyy. Picture: Getty

He said Labour would try to "fly on one engine".

That party’s leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said his Government left an “appalling” economic legacy, pointing to soaring inflation, low growth compared to other rich countries and the high levels of tax.

"They all know it can't go on. Just read their resignation letters," he told Tory MPs.

He added: "Members opposite need to face up to what they have done, what they have put this country through. Despite knowing exactly who he is, despite knowing that he always puts himself before anyone else, despite knowing that he had been fired from job after job for lying, they elected him to lead their party.

"He behaved exactly as everyone feared when he got into Downing Street. He lurched from one scandal to the next, he demeaned his office and he started to drag everyone and everything down with him."

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