Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has voted to bring an end to the Government’s 12 years in office by voting to have no confidence in them.
Whilst Boris Johnson resigned as Prime Minister last week, months after Labour first called for his resignation, he plans to stay on as a caretaker Prime Minister until the new Tory leader is announced on 5th September.
Karin Smyth has long pressed ministers and advisors in her duty on the Public Administration and Constitution Committee about standards in public life. Time and time again those present demonstrated an undermining of standards in the hope of preserving power for the Prime Minister and his backers.
After speaking out about Boris Johnson’s unsuitability for office, the vote of no confidence would have challenged Tory MPs to stick to their words and put the country first. Instead, they chose to enable Boris Johnson to cling on to power until a new leader is elected.
The Government blocked Labour’s attempt to table the no confidence vote because it cited the Prime Minister. Despite historical precedent showing this has been done in the past and the sitting government of the time giving time for the debate and vote. In a bizarre turn of events, the Government then tabled its own vote of no confidence.
The vote of no confidence was defeated 349 to 238 because Tory MPs supported the Prime Minister staying in office.
Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:
“Boris Johnson may have resigned as Prime Minister after his own party finally concluded what was blindingly obvious long ago, that he is unfit for office, but it would be to the detriment of the country to let him cling on for weeks and weeks until a new leader is elected.
“The Tories may have failed to act in the national interest, but Labour will, which is why we voted to have no confidence in the Government. For all the Tory MPs who spoke out against the Prime Minister’s suitability for office over the last week, this should have been an opportunity to do the right thing and prevent him hanging on to power.
“This is a matter of principle. Boris Johnson has been involved for months, even years, in scandal and sleaze. He should not have been allowed to govern for a moment longer. It’s what our country needs and deserves. His own ministers have openly said they will be shackling the Prime Minister to make sure he doesn’t take any decisions over the next eight weeks. If they can’t trust him, why should we be lumbered with him?”