Scottish Tory MPs challenged to back vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson

Scotland’s Tory MPs have been urged to back a no-confidence motion in the Government ahead of the party electing a new leader.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned as Tory leader last week, but said he would stay on in the role until a new leader was elected – which could take until September 5.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer announced that his party would table a motion of no confidence in Boris Johnson on Tuesday with hopes that a vote would take place the following day.

Sir Keir said the motion would challenge Tory MPs to “put their constituents first, and put the country first”.

Kirsten Oswald
Kirsten Oswald urged the six Scottish Tory MPs to back the motion (House of Commons/PA)

The SNP called on the six Tory MPs in Scotland, only one of whom still supports the Prime Minister, to back the vote, which could force a general election.

All Scottish Tory MPs, with the exception of Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, have been among the voices in the party who called for the Prime Minister to stand down in recent months.

If the vote passes, the Queen could also invite someone else to form a Government on the basis they could win a confidence vote in the Commons.

But the motion, which would require a simple majority of MPs to back it, would need substantial support from the Tory benches if it were to pass.

SNP deputy Westminster leader Kirsten Oswald said her party would back the motion if it came to a vote.

“Boris Johnson has debased the office of Prime Minister with his extensive record of misconduct and serial law-breaking,” she said.

“His desperate attempts to cling on must be challenged and it is up to Tory MPs to match their rhetoric with action and ensure that he is removed now.

“SNP MPs will support a vote of no confidence in Johnson’s broken Government but the fact is that this will not pass unless Tory MPs step up and act.

“Douglas Ross and the Scottish Tory MPs must confirm they will also vote in favour of the no-confidence motion rather than go into hiding or worse – vote to keep him in post.

“It’s no secret that Douglas Ross has had his credibility ripped apart by his pathetic flip-flopping through this entire episode, but he has an opportunity to do the right thing for once.”

The vote would force Tory MPs to back the Government or vote against it.

The push comes as SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the contest to elect Mr Johnson’s successor was a “race to the right”.

Speaking as nominations closed on Tuesday, Mr Blackford said: “With the Tory leadership contest descending into a rabid race to the right, and the woeful list of candidates trying to outdo each other in support for a hard Brexit and deep austerity cuts, it is clear whoever wins, Scotland will lose.

“This dismal Tory contest is underlining everything that is wrong with Westminster control – and it is making the case for independence.”