Sir David Davis discusses outcomes of Prime Minister’s confidence vote with LBC’s Andrew Marr


As published by the Daily Express:

BORIS Johnson’s Government will either adopt a paralysed or a populist way of governing if he survives the no-confidence vote, David Davis has warned.

Former Brexit Secretary and former Chairman of the Conservative Party, David Davis, warned of two possible case scenarios after the confidence vote, should Prime Minister Boris Johnson stay in power. Mr Johnson’s political future is at stake tonight as Tory MPs are voting to either back or oust him on a secret ballot in Parliament. The outcome remains uncertain at this point, though some Conservative MPs have hinted at a probable win for Mr Johnson. In that case, Mr Davis warned, Mr Johnson’s Government could take a “dangerous” path.

Speaking to LBC, he said: “The real problem with calling this (no-confidence vote) this early is that we may end up with a paralysed government, or a populist government.

“With everything they do, it’s just designed to try and carry favour with one section of the population or another – and that’s quite dangerous. That’s where governments go wrong.”

On what will most likely happen tonight, he raised the possibility of Boris Johnson surviving the confidence vote but added more Tory MPs could turn their back on him than expected.

“Well, I think Boris will win technically but I think it will be a psychological defeat in the sense there will be a large number of people voting against.”

“Probably more than expected because I suspect quite a lot of ministers who are obviously publicly saying they’re voting one way or another.

“Somebody said to me a third will be in that position. That’s a lot of people.

When asked about the likelihood of the Prime Minister losing the confidence vote, Mr Davis said: “It’s possible. I mean, the truth is anybody who tells you they know the outcome is fibbing.

“The truth is probably about ten segments of the party tend to different leadership candidacies and so on, or just stop talking to each other. So, incredibly chaotic. And frankly the most chaotic situation the party I’ve ever seen.”

Mr Johnson has seen over the course of the day Conservative MPs break ranks and publicly voice their opposition to him.

Anti-Corruption Champion John Penrose resigned in a letter to the Prime Minister over a breach of two principles of the ministerial code – integrity and leadership.

In the letter, he said: “The only fair conclusion to draw from the Sue Gray Report is that you have breached a fundamental principle of the Ministerial Code – a clear resigning matter.”

A long-time prime minister ally, MP Jesse Norman also broke ranks with the party in a letter calling on Mr Johnson to resign. While most Tory rebels cited Partygate to oust Mr Johnson, MP Norman also lamented his failure to abide by Conservative principles.

Questioning Mr Johnson’s governance style, Mr Norman wrote: “you are apparently trying to import element of a presidential system of government that is entirely foreign to our constitution and law.”

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, who sent in a no-confidence letter, raised concern over Partygate’s stickiness. He told BBC Breakfast: “Partygate isn’t going to go away. It’s going to drag on. It’ll be nearly a year

“The old adage is six, seven days on the front pages, you have to resign. This has been six months and it’s not going away.”