WATCH: Kyle describes Tory Party as “squalid” over continued defence of PM

Katie Neame

Labour’s Peter Kyle has said the Conservative Party has become “squalid” as ministers have continued to defend Boris Johnson ahead of a confidence vote scheduled to take place this evening.

In a Sky News interview today, the Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary said he had watched earlier appearances by Brandon Lewis and Suella Braverman and argued that the Tory frontbenchers insisted that the Prime Minister was “good at winning elections” rather than defending his record.

“How squalid has the Tory Party become that they forgive incompetence, they forgive recklessness and they forgive lying and breaking the law just so long as there is a chance of winning an election?” Kyle asked.

Asked whether Labour was “rubbing its hands” at the news that Johnson would face a vote of confidence, he said: “Certainly not, because there are people watching this who are going to go hungry tonight, who are struggling to make ends meet.

“And they’re watching a Conservative Party descend into civil war. So no, we are not watching with glee. But what we are doing is making sure that we’re preparing the credible alternative that the country needs.”

Kyle added: “We’re taking this very seriously, because clearly this government is imploding. It is having a psycho-drama, it is having a nervous breakdown, and it needs to exit and allow a political party that is fit for office to take over.”

On whether Labour could take Johnson on, Kyle told viewers: “There is no doubt in my mind that we can take Boris Johnson on, because the public have found him out.”

He argued that the Prime Minister has “squandered” the majority he received at the 2019 general election “by breaking the law, breaking the ministerial code” and that Johnson has “lowered the standards by which MPs are held because he knows he can’t meet those standards himself”.

Kyle added that his party is doing “that Churchill thing”, saying: “We put country first. We put constituency second, and we put party third. If the Tory Party and their MPs did the same today, he would be gone by tonight.”

It was announced today that the Prime Minister would face a vote of no confidence this evening after 54 letters from Tory MPs, which is the threshold required to trigger a vote, were submitted to the chair of the 1922 committee. The vote will be held between 6pm and 8pm, with the result expected to be announced at 9pm.

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