Boris blocks Labour motion of no confidence in Government

12 July 2022, 08:51 | Updated: 13 July 2022, 00:56

Labour is preparing to force a confidence vote in Boris Johnson's Government
Labour is preparing to force a confidence vote in Boris Johnson's Government. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Boris Johnson has blocked Labour's motion of no confidence in the Government.

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MPs were expected to debate and vote on the motion on Wednesday in a bid to force Mr Johnson’s immediate removal as prime minister – a move which could potentially lead to a snap election.

However, Downing Street told the opposition party that they would not be given the time in the House of Commons for the debate and vote, according to the Mirror.

A senior Labour source told the paper: "The Government is refusing to give us time for a vote of no confidence in the Commons despite all the conventions that this should be granted.

"It's just another example of them ripping up the rules to protect their own side. They're saying the PM is going anyway but they're clearly frightened of losing."

The motion, tabled by Labour on Tuesday, was unlikely to be successful because it would not be supported by Conservative MPs.

But a Labour source told the Huffington Post: "It will put the squeeze on backbench Tories to either vote for him, and be hypocrites, or back Labour, admitting we were right.

"Do all those Tory leadership candidates really want to be answering that question next week? They know he needs to go.”

Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, said they were laying a vote of no confidence because Mr Johnson is "unfit for office".

"The Tory party has at last concluded that the Prime Minister is unfit for office, that was blindingly obvious a very, very long time ago," he said.

"He is leaving because his own party has concluded that he can’t be trusted.

“They can’t now let him cling on for weeks, and weeks, and weeks until the 5th of September. It would be intolerable for the country."

Sir Keir said they have put down a vote of no confidence, and will be challenging Tory MPs to "put their constituents and the country first".

Mr Johnson resigned after a long line of scandals but is clinging on to office until a replacement is found, a move that has divided Tory MPs.

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The next prime minister is not expected to be announced until September 5, after the Tory party set out its timetable for the battle to replace Mr Johnson in No 10.

Sir Keir Starmer had previously threatened to bring the confidence vote to prevent "this nonsense about clinging on for a few months".

"He's inflicted lies, fraud and chaos in the country," the Labour leader said last week.

Tory leadership contenders will need the support of at least 20 Tory MPs - including their proposer and seconder - to get on the ballot paper, the 1922 committee has decided.

As it stands currently, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt have hit the threshold set by the rule change.

Tom Tugendhat was on 19 as of Monday evening and Liz Truss was on 15, while former NI secretary Brandon Lewis, who is batting for Nadhim Zahawi, said he is "confident" the Chancellor has "got the numbers” to advance to the next stage.

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Nominations will open and close on Tuesday, and a first ballot will be held on Wednesday, with a second ballot likely on Thursday.

"We expect 20 supporters for each candidate... we'll also expect that on the first ballot any candidate to proceed must have won at least 30 votes from parliamentary colleagues," announced Sir Graham Brady, who was re-elected as the Committee chairman on Monday.

The result of the contest for the next Tory leader - and Prime Minister - will be announced on September 5, when MPs return to Westminster following their summer break.

It will come after a run-off between the final two candidates in a postal ballot of party members, but it is unclear when the final vote will take place.