Paul Goodman, the Editor of ConservativeHome, predicts Mr Johnson will win the no-confidence vote tonight as was the case with previous Tory leadership challenges (Margaret Thatcher twice, Theresa May once). Both, however, were gone within a year of its taking place. The problem for those who would like to see him out is the ‘payroll’ – MPs with paid or unpaid Government positions – currently standing at between 160 and 170. That’s almost half of the total of 359 Conservative MPs, and as Goodman says, the supposition is that most will vote for the Prime Minister, ‘so he should win today – whatever else may follow’.
We hope they have the decency not to be influenced by their own personal interests and ask themselves, despite their own preferments, whether Boris Johnson is fit to be PM. We have long argued that he was not, in any sense, and that his hands needed to be prised from the steering wheel and the reckless course he continues to take our country on. He is man without principle, conviction or courage. He has no moral compass and destruction follows in his wake.
John Sorrell, commenting on Goodman’s article, warns his fellow party members that:
‘If Johnson wins the vote this evening it will mean just one thing. That the majority of Conservative members are cowardly defeatists. They will have shown that they now accept by retaining a totally dishonoured, mendacious and thoroughly deceitful leader that our party has surrended all chance of victory in the next General Election. By supporting Johnson tonight they not only put their own seats and political futures at peril but worse, the country in danger of suffering under either a Labour administration or even worse a Lab/Lib coalition supported by the SNP. Now is the time for Conservative members to give evidence of backbone, courage and honour, not moral cowardice and a desire for self-destruction.’