The Tory Party has finally realised the prime minister is unfit for office. It was blindingly obvious to most of us long ago, but they have only just concluded that he cannot be trusted, and has a toxic effect on integrity and trust in politics.
But true to form, he will hang around like a bad smell. Tory MPs and candidates vying to be next prime minister appear intent on contaminating themselves further still, by allowing him to linger on. He has lost the confidence of the country. He should have gone months ago.
After Conservative MPs yet again failed to do the decent thing by removing him, Labour tabled a vote of no confidence in this caretaker prime minister and this rotten Conservative government. It was due to be voted on today. But defying all convention and exposing how terrified he is, Johnson has blocked it. He’s evading scrutiny and dodging accountability.
This clapped-out government is running scared and refusing to allow time to debate Labour’s no confidence motion. It’s unprecedented. Yet again the Tories are changing the rules to protect their own dodgy mates.
But this is nothing new and unsurprising. It’s been a pattern of behaviour with this prime minister. From his attempts to change the rules to pardon Owen Paterson, to his shameful rewrite of the ministerial code after the epic scandal of Partygate, he showed he would not think twice about rigging the rules to save his own skin.
The public are not fools. They will see through Tory MPs’ vain efforts to distance themselves from him now as they continue to tolerate him. They were in the room, they were on his side and they propped him up. They carry responsibility.
Some will say this prime minister deserves a dignified exit. But he shredded his own dignity long ago by demeaning the office of prime minister, degrading standards and debasing our politics. He doesn’t deserve a farewell tour. There can be no victory lap for his failed premiership. Just a walk of shame, and it can’t come soon enough.
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Labour was not prepared to allow this disgraced prime minister to cling on for weeks and weeks when our country faces such huge challenges. We have a cost of living crisis, a war in Europe and a potential trade dispute in Northern Ireland caused by this government. We have a disgraced prime minister in office, but not in power.
Labour gave Conservative MPs the opportunity to put their constituents first and do the right thing by the country by giving him his marching orders. They now think they can fool the public by indulging in fantasy and changing the window dressing.
After 12 years of Tory failure, 12 years of a stagnating economy, 12 years of low economic growth and 12 years of broken promises, Britain needs a fresh start with a real change of government.
Enough is enough.