ACT OF SELF-HARM BY TORY REBELS
DEFEATED Tory rebels must take a hard look at themselves today.
They should have given Boris another year to turn things around.
Defeated Tory rebels should have given Boris another year to turn things aroundCredit: AFP
Instead, they triggered a bloody civil war at the worst possible time for a country in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis, and in desperate need of focused leadership.
The 148 Tory MPs who last night voted against the PM in a confidence ballot also handed a gift to the Labour Party.
The PM insists the result will allow him to draw a line under Partygate and move the country forward. The rebels are likely to have other ideas.
We have already heard childish threats to refuse to vote with the Government. They need to understand this will inflict infinitely more damage on their party than all the PM’s problems ever could.
Even if they do eventually oust him, voters will see them as a divided rabble. That will gift the keys of No10 to Keir Starmer, a charmless chancer apparently still confused by the facts of life.
HE GOT MANY BIG CALLS RIGHT
The cold reality is that this was a rebellion mostly by panicky faint-hearts with no stomach for the fight.
Scores spinelessly buckled to the incessant Partygate negativity, a few months of dispiriting mid-term polls and, even more pathetically, to the PM being booed in Labour’s London stronghold.
What breathtaking disloyalty to a man whose charisma, and ruthlessness towards the toxic, Remainer-stuffed Parliament of 2019, won a huge majority and handed scores of them their seats.
A few are Remain diehards openly hoping to force Britain back into the EU’s clutches. They and others are simply more comfortable with middle-class Lib Dems than the crucial Tory converts Boris won over in the Red Wall.
The PM can take little comfort from his win. His handling of Partygate was poor and he is badly wounded. He must pick himself up, learn from it and govern as we still believe he can.
He has got many big calls right: Covid jabs. Leading the free world on Ukraine.
But if he is to survive now he must enact the sort of Conservative policies which got him elected.
Primarily that means cutting the monstrous tax burden which is hammering families already engulfed by the cost-of-living crisis. It means using the Brexit independence HE helped win to cut regulations smothering businesses.
It means facing down the critics of the Rwanda deportation scheme for illegal migrants and making it work.
He must recognise too that his woes are not ALL down to mid-term disaffection and Partygate.
His Government looks adrift. He must rapidly reset it with a major reshuffle of his weak Cabinet — which seems far keener on announcing policies than delivering them — to bring in new blood.
For Boris, there are now difficult days ahead and more big calls he must get right.