UK Prime Minister Johnson seeks to rally his party after surviving leadership test

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried on Tuesday to bolster his leadership by presenting a series of new policies to ministers after narrowly surviving a vote of confidence that exposed the scale of the threat facing weighs on his position.

Johnson won the Conservative Party lawmakers’ poll on Monday night by 211 votes to 148 – enough to avoid having to resign immediately, but a larger-than-expected rebellion within his party that has left him hurt and battling to regain power trust of colleagues and the general public. Read more

His first challenge is to convince his oldest allies, some of whom would have been likely to run to replace him if he had been ousted, that he can ignore questions about his leadership.

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Johnson thanked cabinet ministers for their support as he urged them to pass reforms aimed at cutting costs for consumers, businesses and government.

“We are now able to draw a line under the issues that our adversaries want to talk about, and we can continue to talk about what I think the people of this country want us to do,” Johnson told his cabinet about televised.

Lawmakers from Johnson’s party have called for a vote of confidence after months of scandal over parties breaking the lockdown at the heart of government and criticism of its response to an inflation-fueled spike in the cost of living.

Johnson’s integrity is at stake. His opponents accuse him of being a habitual liar and he faces an investigation into whether he misled Parliament into his explanations of the series of parties held in Downing Street – his office and his residence – while the British were following strict lockdown rules during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The police fined him for one such gathering.

Johnson’s office said it would use the cabinet meeting to outline its vision for the coming weeks, including new policies aimed at lowering the cost of childcare and helping more people afford their own home.

The Prime Minister is planning a speech on housing this week, he will give a speech on the economy next week and the government plans to send a first group of asylum seekers to Rwanda on June 14, as it seeks to out of the divisive vote of confidence, a Conservative Party source said.


But William Hague, who led the Conservative Party from 1997 to 2001, said Johnson’s job as prime minister was no longer ‘viable’ and he should ‘look out’ to give the government a fresh start. left.

There was little reassurance from the front pages of British newspapers that the vote was, as Johnson described in the aftermath Monday, a breakthrough result that allows him to refocus on his political priorities.

The Daily Telegraph called the result a “hollow victory”. The Sun tabloid said ‘the prime minister is just surviving…’

Calling the result a “pyrrhic victory”, the Times’ leadership column said the narrow victory had left Johnson’s political authority badly shaken and his party even more divided.

“If Mr Johnson is to avoid leading the Tories (Tories) to a calamitous defeat in the next election, he will need to show a degree of grip and focus that has been largely absent so far in his tenure as President. prime minister,” he said.

Conservative Party rules mean he is immune to another confidence vote for the next 12 months, but those rules could technically be changed if there is enough political will to do so.

In 2018, Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May won a higher percentage of a similar no-confidence vote to step down six months later.

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Reporting by William James; Editing by Edmund Blair and Angus MacSwan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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