Boris vote: Harrogate MP says he still has no confidence in PM

Harrogate's MP says he was 'surprised' by the size of the rebellion in his own party in yesterday's Vote of Confidence and says it will be very hard for Boris Johnson to win back trust.

By Graham Chalmers
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 3:39 pm

As Mr Johnson attempts today to switch focus to the cost of living crisis in order to draw a line under last night's vote which some believe - despite winning the support of 211 Conservative Party MPs compared to 148 against - has fatally wounded him as a leader, Andrew Jones said the "toothpaste cannot be put back in the tube."

“It would be quite wrong of me to claim that, following the vote, I now have confidence in the Prime Minister," said the MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough who voted against Boris Johnson yesterday.

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Harrogate MP Andrew Jones says he was 'surprised' by the size of the rebellion in Tory Party in yesterday's Vote of Confidence

"The toothpaste, as they say, cannot be put back in the tube.

"I do not and I am looking for major changes to his style and behaviour now that he has a renewed, if not entirely solid, mandate.

"Colleagues are looking to him to rebuild confidence. It will not be easy.

With the Conservative Party facing two crucial by-elections at Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton on June 23, many are now wondering how long Mr Johnson can survive as Prime Minister only two and a half years after winning a landslide election.

Although former Tory Party leader William Hague today called on Boris Johnson to "look for an honourable exit", Cabinet members loyal to the Prime Minister turned on his critics.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries even accused former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt of “duplicity” after the former health secretary withdrew his support for Mr Johnson.

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones refrained from the in-fighting - or speculation that Mr Johnson may forced out before the Tory Party Conference in October, perhaps as early as the summer.

Instead, Mr Jones said, though he was alarmed and angered by the Prime Minister's behaviour over Partygate, he remained committed to the Government and the Conservative Party as a whole.

Reaction to Confidence Vote over Boris Johnson: What Andrew Jones MP said in full

“In the vote of confidence in Boris Johnson as Leader of the Conservative Party I decided not to support him. I was surprised by the number of colleagues who did the same.

“It would be quite wrong of me to claim that, following the vote, I now have confidence in the Prime Minister.

"The toothpaste, as they say, cannot be put back in the tube.

"I do not and I am looking for major changes to his style and behaviour now that he has a renewed, if not entirely solid, mandate.

"Colleagues are looking to him to rebuild confidence. It will not be easy.

“No one should doubt though that my lack of confidence in the Prime Minister equates to a lack of confidence in the Conservative Party and the principles which, for my whole life, have been the bedrock of my political beliefs.

"I was elected on a Conservative manifesto in 2019 with over half the votes cast in this constituency.

"I will continue to vote to enact the policies in that manifesto and support the programme of work needed to ensure our country is successful in a post-Brexit world as we struggle with recovering from the pandemic and coping with the added shock of war in Europe.”