Confidence vote: Harrogate Lib Dem leader blasts Boris result

Was last night's Vote of Confidence a hollow victory for Boris Johnson or, as the Prime Minister himself claimed, a "decisive result"?

By Graham Chalmers
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 2:54 pm

It's a question not only being asked by the press and politicians at the national level but back home in the Harrogate district.

For Boris Johnson's future could help decide the future of politics here at the next General Election.

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Harrogate's Lib Dem leader Coun Pat Marsh said she did not expect Boris Johnson to do the honourable thing and step down.

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones, a Johnson critic who announced in advance he would be voting against his own party leader because of his handling of Partygate, is expected to give his views later today on the fallout from a vote of Tory MPs last night which saw 211 vote for the PM and 148 - an unexpectedly high number - reject him.

Harrogate's Lib Dem leader Coun Pat Marsh said today despite the pressure on him to quit, she did not expect Boris Johnson to do the honourable thing and step down.

And she urged people should to show what they thought of the Prime Minister's rule breaking by voting against the Tories at forthcoming by-elections.

Vote of Confidence: What Harrogate Lib Dem leader Coun Marsh said in full

"The result of the Vote of Confidence was very disappointed for our country as a whole.

"As the rest of the world looks on then they will see that our country is represented by politicians who support a proven liar on the Partygate scandal.

"Those 148 who voted against Boris Johnson had seen sense and were able to see what the rest of us see - a person leading this country who has a reputation of lying and and the first sitting UK prime minister to be found guilty of breaking the law.

"There is little we can do now that his MPs have given him their support.

"The Government will no doubt continue to make sure that those who have lots keep it and the rest of us are kept without.

"The arrogance of Boris Johnson means he will probably just continue and we will all continue to be dragged down by him and those Tory MPs who did not do the right thing by supporting him in the midst of worse cost of living crisis for many many many years.

"I would urge everyone going to vote in the by elections to do the honourable thing and not vote Conservative.

"We need politicians who work for us and not just for themselves and their friends.

"Hopefully the two by-elections coming up shortly will give the Prime Minister a strong message that the country is not behind him."

What Harrogate and Knaresborough Labour Party said

Chris Watt, acting chair of Harrogate and Knaresborough Labour Party, said: "The Conservative Party had a decision to make: to show some backbone, or to back Boris Johnson.

"Those chose to back a Prime Minister who has presided over a culture of law breaking and lies at the heart of Government.

"We were at least pleased that Harrogate and Knaresborough's Tory MP listened to the local Labour Party and thousands of his constituents and voted against Boris Johnson.

"Sadly, he is now left following a deeply damaged leader, who does not have the support of the people, nor almost half of his own MPs. Our area and our country deserves better.

"The choice in British politics is clearer than ever before: a divided Conservative Government which is are failing people in Harrogate and Knaresborough with no plan to tackle the issues facing you and your family or a Labour Government focused on growing the economy so that we can afford world class public services and determined to restore trust in politics."  

What Harrogate and District Green Party said

Shan Oakes, spokesperson for Harrogate and District Green Party said the result of the Confidence Vote showed which Tory MPs had a respect for standards and which ones didn't.

"Many of those who voted Boris Johnson against will be those with a more rounded perspective and who have some respect for the notion of high standards in public life," she said.

"The rest are made up of MPs who cannot see the bigger picture of the sad place to which Tory policy is leading this country.

"Under cover of this controversy, the Government will continue its cruel and oppressive agenda of 'small government' - selling off the NHS, manipulating suffrage to keep themselves in power, undermining the judiciary and oppressing outsiders.

"The Conservatives have no vision and no alternative to having a clown out front to entertain and distract from the dangerous agenda they are pursuing."