Government to table confidence vote on itself after blocking Labour's bid

Boris Johnson will open the debate on Monday

Published

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Government is proposing a motion of confidence on itself after refusing a Labour call for a showdown.

Labour stated how the Tories had only proposed its alternative motion because it worried about losing the vote on the wording proposed by Sir Keir Starmer, which would have tested if MPs still had confidence in Mr Johnson and his administration.

The Government retaliated by accusing Labour of “playing politics” by tabling a no confidence vote in both the Government and the Prime Minister when Mr Johnson had already resigned, with his allies saying it would have been a waste of “valuable parliamentary time”.

Boris Johnson resigned as PM last Thursday
Boris Johnson resigned as PM last Thursday

The Government is now planning to table their own motion for the Commons to ask whether “this House has confidence in" it.

Failure to succeed in the vote could see the nation plunged into political turmoil, with a general election sparked as a result.

It is improbable that the Tories would defeat their own Government, especially since the heated leadership race is raging on.

On Monday, the Prime Minister will open the debate, which is likely to draw crowds.

Sir Keir Starmer's party initially motioned a no confidence vote against the Conservatives
Sir Keir Starmer's party initially motioned a no confidence vote against the Conservatives

Acknowledging the motion, a Government spokeswoman said: “Labour were given the option to table a straightforward vote of no confidence in the Government in keeping with convention, however they chose not to.

“To remedy this we are tabling a motion which gives the House the opportunity to decide if it has confidence in the Government.

“The Government will always allow time for appropriate House matters whilst ensuring that it delivers parliamentary business to help improve people’s everyday lives.”

A Labour spokesman retaliated, saying: “The motion that we tabled was in order, the clerks ruled it in order, we had precedent based on the 1965 vote of no confidence there was with Ted Heath and Harold Wilson.

“If the Government wants to table a different motion, that’s obviously up to them.

“But what’s clear is that the Government was concerned it would lose the vote on the motion that we had put forward, otherwise why are they putting forward this alternative motion on Monday?

“We look forward to the dozens of Conservative MPs who have already expressed no confidence in Boris Johnson in writing to vote accordingly next week because to do anything else would be brazen hypocrisy.”

Labour could still attempt to amend the new motion, to reflect the Oppositions original wording, a move the Liberal Democrats said they would make.

Lib Dem Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain said: “These are desperate tactics from the Conservatives, who are looking to duck scrutiny for propping up Boris Johnson.

“Conservative MPs risk a major public backlash if they refuse to back this motion.”