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Prime Minister Boris Johnson must "reflect" on 211-148 vote of confidence, says Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross


By Chris Saunderson

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THE Prime Minister Boris Johnson must reflect on a vote which saw more than 40% of his parliamentary party declare no confidence in him – that's the view of Scottish Conservative leader and Moray MP Douglas Ross.

In happier times during a visit to Moray in July 2020, Boris Johnson with then Moray MP Douglas Ross.Picture: Daniel Forsyth
In happier times during a visit to Moray in July 2020, Boris Johnson with then Moray MP Douglas Ross.Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Mr Ross was one of 148 MPs (41.2%) who voted against the Prime Minister in Monday night's vote of confidence which saw 211 (58.8%) declare confidence in him in the wake of Partygate and Mr Johnson paying a fixed penalty for breaking Covid regulations by attending a party at No.10.

The Moray MP had originally submitted a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson before then withdrawing the letter, saying with war in Ukraine, it was not the right time to be changing Prime Minister.

Mr Ross, who has come in for criticism for his perceived "flip-flopping" on the issue, claimed the timing of the no confidence vote was wrong given the ongoing war in Europe, but that the timing was not of his choosing and his view of the Prime Minister's behaviour over Covid rules had never changed, and so he decided to vote in line with his original position.

"The result speaks volumes that more than 40% of Conservative MPs took the decision that they have no confidence in the Prime Minister.

"When a smaller percentage took the same decision against Theresa May in December 2018,a number of the Prime Minister's cabinet were saying that her position was untenable.

Boris Johnson raising a toast to the Scotch whisky industry with Douglas Ross during a previous visit to Moray. The Moray MP and Scottish Conservative leader was one of 148 party members who declared no confidence in the Prime Minister this week.
Boris Johnson raising a toast to the Scotch whisky industry with Douglas Ross during a previous visit to Moray. The Moray MP and Scottish Conservative leader was one of 148 party members who declared no confidence in the Prime Minister this week.

"I think the Prime Minister must reflect on the result because it is a significant proportion of the party, from different parts of the country and different beliefs, that have come to the conclusion they no longer have confidence in the Prime Minister.

"Theresa May won her confidence vote in 2018 and she stepped down six months later."

Asked whether the Conservatives can go into and win another general election with Boris Johnson as it leader, Mr Ross added: "We are two years away from the next general election and a lot can happen in two years.

"We have to see how the Prime Minister responds to this vote. Previous votes of no confidence have not ended well for leaders of the Conservative party."

Mr Ross said he listened to the views of constituents, many of whom spoke to him in person over the Jubilee weekend, and the thousands of emails he has received on the subject.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured at a party in No.10. He was fined for his presence at one of the social gatherings.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured at a party in No.10. He was fined for his presence at one of the social gatherings.

"I was of the clear view that this Prime Minister's actions were unacceptable. He made the (Covid) rules but was fined by the police for breaking those rules. He accepted that fixed penalty and paid the fine."

While Boris Johnson reflects on the result of the vote, Mr Ross called on all Conservative MPs to be grown-up and work together in the best interests of the people of the UK and their own constituents.

Mr Johnson had described the vote as a "postive and decisive" outcome, insisting his support among Tory MPs was greater now than when he came to power in 2019.

He said the vote was a chance to move on and talk about the things this government is doing to help people.

He added it was an "opportunity to unite and deliver".


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