Boris Johnson should stay on even if he only wins no-confidence ballot by one vote, says Jacob Rees-Mogg

No-confidence vote in Boris Johnson to be held between 6pm and 8pm today

Holly Bancroft
Monday 06 June 2022 13:26 BST
'Substantial' booing for Boris Johnson as he arrives for Queen’s Jubilee service

Boris Johnson should stay on as prime minister even if he only wins tonight’s no-confidence ballot by one vote, minister for Brexit opportunities Jacob Rees-Mogg has said.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Rees-Mogg said even if Mr Johnson did not win a substantial victory in the vote this evening the PM would still hold a strong mandate for governing.

“In a democracy, one is enough,” Mr Rees-Mogg said. “I think that the idea that there is a barrier different from the absolute barrier is false.”

Mr Johnson has to secure 180 votes in the ballot this evening to win.

Mr Rees-Mogg told Sky that he had tried to argue that Theresa May didn’t have a significant mandate to govern after she won her no-confidence vote. However he had to “eat a good deal of my own words”.

Boris Johnson is facing a no-confidence vote after 54 MPs sent in letters calling for him to go

“I tried this line when I wasn’t entirely supportive of Theresa May,” he said on Monday morning, “saying she hadn’t won enough [votes] and actually everyone said to me afterwards that was absolutely nonsense.”

“I had to eat a good deal of my own words,” he added.

‘In a democracy, one is enough’, said Jacob Rees-Mogg

Mr Rees-Mogg played down the fact that Boris Johnson was booed by Jubilee crowds over the weekend, saying: “It was a mere bagatelle”.

“A little bit of booing, a little bit of cheering, that was perfectly normal,” he said.

He said that politicians who “do things, who achieve things” and “who lead the country well obviously stir up emotions in some sections of the British population.”

Grant Shapps warns to not 'over-interpret' Johnson being booed at jubilee celebration

He used the example of protests at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

Mr Rees-Mogg also sought to downplay the significance of a confidence vote in Boris Johnson, calling it the “routine of politics”.

Referring to the threshold of Tory MPs who have submitted a letter of no confidence, he said: “I think you would find in all parties at all times there’s about 15% who, for whatever reason, don’t like the leader of the party.”

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