WATCH: Tories cannot expect public to let PM “cling on” for weeks, Starmer says

Katie Neame

Keir Starmer has said the Tory Party cannot expect the country to allow Boris Johnson to “cling on for weeks on end” after Labour confirmed it had tabled a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

The Labour leader told Sky News this afternoon: “Finally the Tory Party concluded that Boris Johnson was unfit to be Prime Minister – that was blindingly obvious a very long time ago. But having come to that conclusion, they can’t now expect the country to allow him to cling on for weeks on end.”

Starmer added: “We said that, if they’re not going to remove him themselves – and it looks like they’re not – then we would step up in the national interest and bring this vote of no confidence.

“And frankly, any Tory that in the last few days has said they don’t think the Prime Minister’s fit for office because he can’t tell the truth, he can’t be trusted, how can they tomorrow go through the lobby to say he should stay in power for another few weeks?”

MPs from all parties will vote on Labour’s motion of no confidence, which is set to be held on Wednesday. If passed, the vote could trigger a general election, but it is not expected that Tory MPs will back Labour’s motion.

The Conservative Party confirmed the timetable for the leadership election to replace Johnson on Monday, with the final result scheduled to be announced on September 5th.

Angela Rayner declared on Friday that Labour could put forward a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister this week if the Tories failed to select a new leader quickly enough.

Labour’s deputy leader told Sky News: “Boris Johnson can’t stay another minute in Downing Street. It’s been proven that he’s not fit to govern.

“And therefore the Conservative Party need to elect somebody to lead their party pretty quickly or get some interim leader in that is not somebody who has been disgraced, who’s lost the confidence of their own party, let alone the British public.

Asked whether she was hesitating about the vote because she did not think Labour could win it, Rayner said: “No, I think we can win it.”

She declared that if Labour does not win a vote because Conservative MPs “prop up” the Prime Minister, the Tories are “going to find that very devastating for them, not just for the next general election, but I think that will keep them out of power for a very long time”.

“They need to get their house in order. If they don’t, then we will step forward as we have done. Whether that’s with our solutions to the cost-of-living crisis – we’ll step forward again to make sure that Boris Johnson doesn’t remain in No 10,” she added.

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