Boris Johnson says no-confidence vote win ‘decisive’ despite mass Tory rebellion
Boris Johnson was branded a “lame duck” prime minister as he faced MPs in the Commons for the first time since suffering a Damaging result in Monday night’s confidence vote on his leadership.
SNP leader Ian Blackford launched a blistering attack on Mr Johnson’s position at PMQs, likening the prime minister to Monty Python’s Black Knight, who claimed fatal wounds were just flesh wounds, and told him: “It’s over, it’s done.”
It transpired that 41 per cent of Tory backbenchers had agreed with his repeated calls for the prime minister to quit, the SNP MP claimed.
But Mr Johnson dismissed the rebels, saying he had “picked up political opponents all over” because his government had “done some very big and very remarkable things which they didn’t necessarily approve of”.
Promising new measures on home ownership and defending NHS waiting times from attacks by Sir Keir Starmer, the PM insisted he would fight to stay in power, and joked that his political career had “barely begun”.
Sir Keir Starmer to announce new policies, Labor says, after Lord Mandelson
Sir Keir Starmer will announce a series of new policies in the months ahead, his allies have said, after Labor grandee Lord Mandelson urged the party to “raise its sights”, and warned that its leader has “got about a year” to turn things around.
“Between now and the next year … we’ve got to see more powerful brushstrokes, put down on that canvas,” the former Cabinet minister was reported as telling Times Radio.
At a speech in Durham, the peer said Sir Keir must “accelerate” the development of policies and “turn the intellectual tide” rather than hope to simply benefit from Boris Johnson’s woes, calling on the party to focus on the need for investment in digital , artificial intelligence and carbon transition technologies.
Up to the speech, a La Respondbour spokesman said: “Peter Mandelson continues to have the focus on industrial policy that he had in government and that is a focus that Keir Starmer shares.”
The spokesman insisted to were already switching back the party across the country and said further policies would be set out in the build-up to the party’s autumn conference in Liverpool in September, adding: “We will continue to be focusing on the issues that matter to the public, which is the cost-of-living crisis and how we grow the economy.”
Andy Gregory8 June 2022 17:20
Foreign Office adviser quits after saying ‘liability’ Boris Johnson should be forced out
A Foreign Office Adviser has quit after telling LBC Radio that Boris Johnson should leave No 10 and is “a liability” who is “in the wrong job”, reports our deputy political editor Rob Merrick.
Helena Morrisey, a Tory peer, also disputed that the prime minister had displayed “contrition” for the Partygate scandal – saying he needed to show “deeds not words”.
She has now resigned as director at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, a paid role to provide “strategic leadership” and “advice on performance and delivery”. It is understood that she agreed to leave having been told by Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, that her position was untenable.
The resignation is the first since Monday’s no-confidence vote, despite expectations that some ministers might walk out – to try to foment the revolt against the prime minister.
Andy Gregory8 June 2022 17:01
Telegraph readers give damning verdict on Boris Johnson’s leadership
The Daily Telegraph‘s letters section today will likely make uncomfortable reading for Boris Johnson, with many of the dozens of contributors offering a damning verdict on his leadership.
In a piece at the foot of the page headlined, “a leadership contest is the Tories’ best hope”, columnist Madeline Grant suggests that the prime minister “has turned out to be less of a Churchillian figure than a leader in the Anthony Eden mold – vain, ambitious, coveting the trappings of power rather than the responsibility that comes with it, squandering parliamentary majorities in record time.”
She adds: “We are heading into an era of narrow margins and fragmented politics, but a change of leadership combined with a sensible Conservative agenda might yet be enough to keep a destructive left-wing coalition out of power.”
Andy Gregory8 June 2022 16:57
Foreign Office has ‘lessons to learn’ over Afghanistan evacuation, senior official says
The Foreign Office has “lessons to learn” after the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan last year, the head of the department has said.
Sir Philip Barton, the permanent under-secretary, again expressed his regret that he did not return from holiday as Kabul fell, after a scathing report by MPs called on him to consider his position.
Giving evidence to the House of Lords International Relations Committee, Sir Philip said: “If I had my time again I would have come back from my leave earlier. That is what I should have done.”
He said the crisis after the fall of the Afghan capital to the Taliban was “one of the most complex and challenging” the department had faced, adding: “We did manage to evacuate 15,000 people against an original planning assumption of six. That is more than any other country apart from the US. All of us wish we could have evacuated more people.”
Sir Philip added that once the immediate crisis phase was over he put in place a “proper exercise” to establish what lessons could be learned, which had led to a series of changes, saying: “We did embed those in the way in which we approached the invasion of Ukraine in February.”
Andy Gregory8 June 2022 16:30
‘No vacancy’ for chancellor’s role, insists No 10
Boris Johnson’s press secretary has dismissed reports suggesting he could replace Rishi Sunak as an opportunityllor with former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt in a reshuffle held in the wake of Monday’s damaging no vote confidence.
“There is no vacancy for this role. We have an excellent chancellor and he and the prime minister are working closely together. There are no plans for a re-shuffle,” she said.
She played down reports the prime minister could seek to root out ministers who failed to publicly back him in the run up to the vote and said she was “not aware” of the prime minister sanctioning comments by culture secretary Nadine Dorries attacking Mr Hunt.
“There were various things that were said before the vote took place and now is the time for us to unite and focus entirely on our job, which is delivering for the British public,” she said.
Andy Gregory8 June 2022 16:06
Boris Johnson will cut taxes at a ‘responsible’ time, No 10 says
The government remains committed to cutting taxes but will only act when it is “responsible” to do so, Boris Johnson’s press secretary has said.
Mr Johnson has faced renewed calls from Tory MPs to bring down the level of taxation following Monday’s wounding confidence vote.
The press secretary said: “We have been clear we want to cut taxes but we are in a very difficult position following the global pandemic so soon as it is responsible we will set out plans for doing that.”
Andy Gregory8 June 2022 15:53
Labor MPs call for mass protests over cost of living crisis
Labor MP Richard Burgon has called for mass protests and strikes to force Boris Johnson’s government to take stronger action over the cost of living crisis.
Writing in the Morning Starthe former shadow cabinet member said that “over the next year, as the crisis bites even harder, the scale of protest will need to match the scale of crisis”.
Mr Burgon called for the Trades Union Congress protest on 18 June to be “a spark for further actions that make 2022 a year of protest against this Tory government”, adding: “That’s key to defeating the living standards emergency the Tories are choosing to force on our communities.”
His calls were backed by Diane Abbott, who said: “We need mass mobilisation to make the Tories do something about the cost of living crisis.”
Andy Gregory8 June 2022 15:40
Priti Patel has not met me once in 14 months, says ‘frustrated’ borders chief
The government’s borders inspector has expressed his “frustration” at not being able to meet Priti Patel once since his appointment more than a year ago, my colleague Adam Forrest reports.
David Neal – appointed the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration 14 months ago – told MPs he was “disappointed” to have had five or six meetings with the home secretary canceled.
“I’ve not met the home secretary yet,” he told the home affairs select committee. “I’ve asked to speak to her on a number occasions, and pre-arranged meeting have been canceled on maybe five or six occasions now.”
Asked if the experience was different from experience with other departments, Mr Neal said: “It is – I’m disappointed I haven’t spoken to the home secretary, and frustrated, because I think I’ve got things to offer from the position I hold.”
Andy Gregory8 June 2022 15:15
Opinion: Captain Boris will go down with his ship of make-believe
The prime minister’s biggest problem is that he is now in so deep in a world of his own, he can’t even see that nobody believes him any more, writes Tom Peck. Mr Johnson will be in denial to his final breath:
Jane Dalton8 June 2022 15:05
YouGov ‘banned’ release of 2017 leader poll that was ‘too good for Labor’
Bosses at pollster YouGov suppressed publication of a survey during the 2017 election campaign because it was “too positive about Labor”, a former manger at the pollster has claimed. John Stone reports:
Jane Dalton8 June 2022 14:55