Johnson likened to Monty Python’s black knight after surviving confidence vote

·3-min read

Boris Johnson was compared to Monty Python’s black knight and branded a “lame duck” in the Commons following a confidence vote in his leadership where 148 Conservative MPs rebelled against him.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford likened the Prime Minister’s reaction to surviving the confidence vote to the comedy troupe’s knight, who claimed his mortal injuries were just flesh wounds in the 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

But Mr Johnson appeared to shout “not even a flesh wound” in response to the jibe.

The Prime Minister won a confidence vote in his leadership on Monday, despite a rebellion by 41% of his MPs.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson told MPs “absolutely nothing and no-one” is “going to stop us with getting on delivering for the British people”.

Mr Blackford said: “Week after week I’ve called on this Prime Minister to resign. I’ve been met with a wall of noise from the Tory benches. I thought they were trying to shout me down… when all this time it turns out that 41% of them have been cheering me on.

“Let’s be clear, at least the numbers don’t lie. Forty-one per cent of his own MPs have no confidence in him. Sixty-six (%) of MPs across the House don’t support him, and 97% of Scottish MPs want the minister for the union shown the door.

“We now have a lame duck Prime Minister presiding over a divided party in a disunited kingdom. How does the Prime Minister expect to continue when even unionist leaders in Scotland won’t back him?”

The Prime Minister thanked Mr Blackford for his “characteristic warm words”, adding: “The biggest and most powerful and effective advocate of the United Kingdom over the … time that I’ve been in … has been that man there.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (House of Commons/PA)

“I don’t know how long he’s going to last here as leader of the SNP … long may he rest in place.”

The Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP replied: “The Prime Minister is acting like Monty Python’s black knight, running around declaring it’s just a flesh wound. And no amount of delusion and denial will save the Prime Minister from the truth: this story won’t go away until he goes away.”

He asked: “Can the Prime Minister tell us how it is democratic that Scotland is struck with a Prime Minister we don’t trust, a Conservative Party we don’t support, and Tory governments we haven’t voted for since 1955?”

Mr Johnson said: “We had a referendum, as I’ve told the House before, in 2014. I think he should respect the mandate of the people.

“He keeps saying he wants independence for his country. Our country is independent… and the only way that independence would ever be reversed would be if we had the disaster of a Labour-SNP coalition to take us back into the EU.”

Labour former minister Dame Angela Eagle said that the week’s events had “demonstrated just how loathed this Prime Minister is, and that’s only in his own party”.

She added: “As his administration is too distracted by its internal divisions to deal with the challenges we face, can the Prime Minister explain if 148 of his own backbenchers don’t trust him, why on earth should the country?”

Mr Johnson replied: “I can assure her in a long political career so far – barely begun – I’ve of course picked up political opponents all over and that is because this Government has done some very big and very remarkable things which they didn’t necessarily approve of.

“And what I want her to know is that absolutely nothing and no-one, least of all her, is going to stop us with getting on delivering for the British people.”