Sir David Davis reacts to Prime Minister’s confidence vote


As published by LBC:

Former Brexit secretary David Davis has warned the UK could end up with a “paralysed or populist government” if Boris Johnson wins the confidence vote.

The backbench MP, who has publicly called on the Prime Minister to resign multiple times, said it is “possible” that Boris Johnson could lose the vote as “there will be a large number of people voting against” him.

Speaking on Tonight with Andrew Marr, the Tory MP warned the outcome of the vote could prove “quite dangerous” and cause the party to loose potential voters in the future.

Mr Davis told Andrew Marr: “I think Boris will win technical but I think it will be a psychological defeat in the sense that there will be a large number of people voting against.

“Probably more than he is expecting, because I expect there’s quite a lots of ministers who are obviously publicly saying they are voting one way, will vote the other.

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

“The real problem of calling this, this early is that we may end up with a sort of paralysed government or a populist government where everything they do is just designed to carry favour with one section of the population or another and that’s quite dangerous, and that’s where governments go wrong.”

Tory former minister Steve Baker, who is also voting against the Mr Johnson in tonight’s vote said this is a “very, very sad day” as he reiterated his call for the PM to go.

However, following a meeting of the 1922 Committee, he said he thought it was “highly likely” that Boris Johnson would “formally win” Monday’s confidence vote.

“What that means over the months ahead, I don’t know,” he added.

“What I am certain of is that the Conservative Party’s got to find a way to raise our standard of conduct in all things – not only amongst ministers, but amongst backbenchers, particularly when they give comment to all of you (the media).

“You notice that I’m doing this on the record. Many of my colleagues give waspish and awful comments off the record, often very personal ones. I’d really ask all of them to think about who that’s supposed to impress.”

Boris Johnson told the meeting of Tory MPs on Monday afternoon that her “understands the anxieties of people who have triggered this vote”.

The Prime Minister told the private meeting: “I humbly submit to you that this is not the moment for a leisurely and entirely unforced domestic political drama and months and months of vacillation from the UK.”

At a time when Vladimir Putin’s forces are fighting in Ukraine, Mr Johnson said: “This is the moment for us to lift our gaze from our navel.”

He warned MPs not to “dance to the tune of the media” and called for an end to the “media-driven focus on the leadership of the Conservative Party”.

In an attempt to win round low-tax Conservatives, Mr Johnson said: “Everyone understands the fiscal impact of Covid, the cost of clearing the backlogs, but the way out now is to drive supply side reform on Conservative principles and to cut taxes.”