Boris Johnson: Trevelyan grilled on future of leadership
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LBC Westminster Editor Ben Kentish spoke to Ms Trevelyan in the House of Commons following a no-confidence vote on Boris Johnson. The Conservative leader had won the confidence of 211 Tory MPs in that vote, with 148 voting against him, just 32 shy of the 180 threshold needed to force his departure. Though the victory is a marginal one, Anne-Marie Trevelyan defended the PM, saying that she knows “colleagues will want to pick and move forwards with Boris” in light of the result.
Mr Kentish asked: “But it is the case that upwards of 100 colleagues do not want Boris Johnson to continue as leader.
“Is that really a sustainable position? Can he really continue to lead the party given that extent of opposition going forward?”
Ms Trevelyan replied: “A vote of confidence is exactly that, and I know if [Mr Johnson] wins that vote he will want to take that forward.
“We are a very democratic party and the vast vast majority of the party have said whatever the outcome of this democratic process is the one we follow.
“And that is something we are very good at and very committed to in the Conservative Party.
“And I know that colleagues will want to pick up and move forwards with Boris if he wins this confidence vote tonight.”
Despite the victory for Mr Johnson, Tory MPs have questioned the longevity of a leader who does not have the confidence of 148 members of his party.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood suggested that Mr Johnson’s tenure will be up in a “matter of months” as a consequence of last night’s vote.
He said: “I think we’re talking a matter of months, up to party conference.”
He added: “A lot of work to be done: a reshuffle is now required – bring in fresh talent, and actually start to focus on the big issues, make the Cabinet construct actually work.
“Let’s do things that appeal to the country and not just to our base – more exciting policies than the privatisation of Channel 4 and bringing back imperial measurements, but a real economic strategy that’s actually going to help tackle the cost of living crisis.”
Speaking after the vote, Mr Johnson said: “I think this is a very good result for politics and for the country.
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“What it means is that as a government we can move on and focus on the stuff that really matters to people.
“What we need to do now is come together as a government and as a party.”
The no-confidence vote took place last night after more than 54 MPs wrote to the 1922 Committee calling for the PM to resign.
The secret ballot was held between 6pm and 8pm, with the results announced shortly afterwards.
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