London, June 7
A defiant British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday led his first Cabinet meeting after a tense day of political intrigue, which ended in him securing a victory in a no-confidence ballot of his party members with a narrow margin as a major chunk of his MPs voted against him as the leader.
The PM won 59 per cent of the vote, meaning he is now immune from a Conservative leadership challenge for a year. In all, 211 Tory MPs voted they had confidence in the PM’s leadership while 148 voted against him.
Johnson, 57, is rallying his Cabinet ministers, who largely backed him quite publicly and even called upon the angry backbench members of Parliament leading the rebellion to line up behind his leadership for the greater good of the country. He began the meeting by thanking his top team after an “important day”, with reference to the vote on Monday.
“We are now able to draw a line under the issues that our opponents want to talk about and are able to get on with talking about what I think the people of this country want us to talk about, which is taking the country forward,” he said, in a televised start of the meeting. “That is what we are going to do. We are going to focus exclusively on that. We are going to get on with the massive agenda that we were elected to deliver in 2019 (general election),” he said.
But the opposition Labour was keen to keep up the attack on a bruised Prime Minister, with the party’s Deputy Leader saying he’s now on borrowed time. — PTI
Vows to work for development
We are on the side of hardworking British people, and we are going to get on with the job. Boris Johnson, UK PM
Conservatives who faced heat
“Iron Lady” Thatcher survived a first leadership challenge in 1989, but a second one the next year spelled her downfall.
In June 1995, Major resigned as party leader to force a leadership contest against himself, challenging his party to “put up or shut up” in a bid to quell critics
May faced severe pressure throughout her tenure over her repeated but ultimately unsuccessful attempts to take Britain out of the EU