London party

Boris Johnson ‘on probation’, says former minister

Boris Johnson is ‘on probation’ and could still be removed from office if he fails to win back the trust of Tory MPs, a former minister has claimed.

Lord Ian Duncan, who held various ministerial posts under Theresa May and Boris Johnson after entering the House of Lords in 2017, said the Prime Minister ‘had a job to do’ after 148 of his MPs voted in favour. of his impeachment in a vote of confidence on Monday, admitting that the chances of the Prime Minister continuing for long were “slim”.

The Prime Minister won the vote, which was called after 54 MPs submitted letters of censure to the 1922 backbench committee following the publication of the Sue Gray report which details a number of Downing rallies Street during the pandemic, one of which resulted in a police fine for Mr Johnson, his wife and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

“He has a task ahead of him at the moment, he is on probation,” Lord Duncan told BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show.

“If he fails that probation, the Conservative Party will do what it always does with leaders who don’t deliver – they’ll fire him.”

When asked if the Prime Minister was a ‘lame duck’ following Monday’s vote, the former MEP replied: ‘He is probably in troubled waters.

“If you can make people forget, almost, what’s happened over the past few months, then he has a slim chance of continuing, but I would have thought that would be very slim.”

The Conservative Party, Lord Duncan said, was “quite a mercenary” when it came to removing party leaders they felt were no longer up to the job.

“For the past 20 years, when a leader has failed to do what he was supposed to do, the Conservative Party doesn’t stab him in the back – it stabs him in the face,” he said. -he declares.

“If they don’t deliver, they get deleted.”

The Tory peer also defended Scottish leader Douglas Ross’s decision to back down again and vote to impeach the prime minister.

Mr Ross, who initially backed Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, called for his resignation after reports of Downing Street parties surfaced, submitting a letter to the 1922 Committee.

Douglas Ross and all but two of his MPs voted against the Prime Minister (Jane Barlow/PA)

But when Russia invaded Ukraine, Mr Ross rescinded his letter and backed the Prime Minister’s position, saying the need for stability at the top of government to deal with the war, before voting with all his Scottish MPs except two to impeach the Prime Minister. In Monday.

“The important thing is that Douglas Ross got it right when it mattered,” Lord Duncan said.

“When it mattered he voted for what he felt was right, he did so against the Prime Minister – the leader of a party he has been with for many years, which in itself is a good sign. “

Lord Duncan’s comments come as former Scottish Conservative communications manager Andy Maciver called on the Scottish embodiment to distance themselves from the UK party and create a separate group.

“A political party which has no connection with the Conservative party, formal or informal, and has no involvement in the Westminster elections,” he wrote in the Herald on Sunday.

“An unmistakably Scottish political party. A political party which, in time, could play a role in unsticking Scottish politics, normalizing us and, dare I say, Europeanising our political party structures.

“A new political party is not a ready meal. It must be prepared and then cooked, and it needs a good time to rest before it is ready to eat.

“However, since the alternative is to not eat at all, the choice should be pretty clear.”