Boris ‘needs to realise he serves British people’ and ‘show courage’ after Tory rebellion

Naga Munchetty says public is 'out of patience' with Boris

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Monday evening saw the PM come close to being booted out of No. 10 as Tory MPs voted on whether they still had confidence in his leadership. While Mr Johnson survived the vote with 211 votes in favour, 148 of his own MPs voted against him – a larger rebellion than the one that preceded Theresa May’s resignation, and roughly equivalent to the vote that saw Margaret Thatcher stand down as PM. Although Mr Johnson and his allies claimed the vote as a victory, many Conservative MPs including some of his supporters believe the attempted coup is the beginning of the end for his three-year premiership.

Director of Conservative think-tank the Bruges Group, Robert Oulds, told that while there was “every possibility” Mr Johnson could be forced out, a change of course could lead the PM to regain the faith of his party and the British people.

Mr Oulds said: “There’s every possibility that he would be forced to leave office but I think there’s an equal if not greater chance that he could be leading the Conservatives into the next election.

“It’s still possible that there could be a course correction and it’d need to be a significant course correction – he needs to realise that he serves the British people, rather than globalist interests.

“He’s not willing to argue with other major leaders. It’s very seductive for him to be off hobnobbing with G7 Leaders and they’ve lauded him – but they haven’t put him into power, the British people have.

“I would argue that he is a man of a certain privileged international background and feels that he is part of that international set and his own interests are best served by being at the top table.

“He should remember that his best interests will actually be served by him serving Britain.”

For Mr Oulds, that meant actually delivering on the promise of Brexit – as well as apologising for the mistakes he made during the Covid pandemic.

He said that an effective course correction would mean “taking control of the Northern Ireland situation, and taking back our fishing waters.

“The British public don’t support him in his current course, because it’s not what he promised.

“He broke his word on getting Brexit done properly, just like he broke the lockdown rules.

“It’s time he kept his word and be the leader we hoped he would be. I don’t think he has any choice in the matter.

“Now it’s time to recognise that he’s done wrong, apologise, and course correct.”

It may prove difficult for Boris to pivot now, as the unexpectedly high number of rebellious Tory MPs means he has effectively lost his majority support in parliament, creating the risk that his government is paralysed.

Sir Roger Gale, one of Johnson’s leading critics, said a “prime minister of honour” should realise he had lost the support of a sizeable number of his MPs, and suggested that these MPs would only continue to rebel.

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Keir Starmer said the Conservative party “believes the British public now have no right to expect honest politicians”, while Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, said Tory MPs have “narrowly voted to keep a lawbreaker and liar in No 10”.

Asked if the PM was likely to achieve an effective course correction, Mr Oulds said: “Boris has a great understanding of his need for self preservation and what’s in his best interest.

“He is naturally rather indolent, idle, and would rather not work hard.

“In good times that might be good to have a Prime Minister who doesn’t interfere, doesn’t change things too much – but this is not that time.

“What Boris does have is the capacity to change. There’s two sides to this, we just want the right side to come.”

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