Boris Johnson says ‘nothing and no one’ will stop him carrying on as prime minister in wake of no-confidence vote – live

Johnson says ‘nothing and no one’ will stop him carrying on as PM and delivering for British people

I have beefed up the post at 12.04pm with the full quotes from Angela Eagle and Boris Johnson.

Johnson said “nothing and no one” would stop him carrying on as PM.

And what I want her to know is that absolutely nothing and no one, least of all her, is going to stop us with getting on delivering for the British people.

You may need to refresh the page to get the update to appear.

Here is my colleague Peter Walker’s story from PMQs.

YouGov denies suppressing poll in 2017 because it was too pro-Labour, saying sample too skewed to make it reliable

YouGov has issued a statement denying the claims from Chris Curtis that it suppressed a poll during the 2017 election because it was too favourable to Labour. (See 11.48am.) In a statement on the Curtis allegations a company spokesperson said:

Chris Curtis’s allegation that we suppressed a poll because the results were “too positive about Labour” is incorrect. There was a poll run by Chris following the debate in Cambridge on 31st May 2017. When reviewed by others in the YouGov political team, it was clear that the sample of people who watched the debate significantly over-represented Labour voters from the previous election. We take our responsibilities as a research organisation seriously and we could not have published a poll from a skewed sample that favoured any party. No serious polling organisation would have published this. The idea that YouGov would suppress a poll that was “too positive about Labour” is plainly wrong – as evidenced by the fact that in the 2017 election YouGov published an MRP model showing Labour doing significantly better compared to most other polling organisations.

PMQs – snap verdict

TL:DR On the basis of this PMQs, nothing much has changed. Boris Johnson was about as glib and boosterish as he usually is and, even though he suffered a severe blow to his authority on Monday night, when 41% of his MPs voted to boot him out, if you did not know that (and if you ignored the references to it at PMQs) you would not have thought, watching him today, that Johnson was any more diminished than he was at any other time in recent weeks.

It wasn’t that Johnson was particularly good. His main aim was to assure people that he was ploughing on with delivering for the public – he had “barely begun”, he claimed, channelling the Carpenters (see 12.04pm) – and he dismissed Angela Eagle’s question about the non-confidence vote by claiming internal opposition to him was just an unfortunate byproduct of the fact he had taken “very big and very remarkable” decisions. As an analysis of his plight, this is almost wholly wrong. Tory opposition to him is largely driven by concerns about his conduct and morality, not policy, or even Brexit (which does qualify as a “very big and very remarkable” intervention). But it got him through Eagle’s (very pertinent) question.

After that, Johnson had to take six questions from Starmer on health. Johnson’s response, as usual, was to quote figures about NHS investment, and to attack Labour for not voting for the health and social care levy. He even resurrected the false claim about the government planning to build 40, or 48 (it depends if you include hospitals already planned before the Johnson announcement) new hospitals. (Other parts of government will not use this language, because it’s untrue; the levelling up white paper, for example, talks about the government’s “ambitious programme of hospital building upgrades”). Johnson’s problem is that, even if his statistical boasts were all true, he is now so discredited as a messenger that many voters will just not believe him anyway. But he was on stronger ground attacking Labour; the public assume that a Labour government will invest more in the NHS than a Tory one, but most people would be hard pressed to identify a single Labour health policy that differentiates them from the government and Starmer certainly did not come up with one today.

Starmer has been getting lousy reviews from the Twitter commentariat today. These are from Sky’s Beth Rigby, the i’s Paul Waugh and the Spectator’s James Forsyth.

Johnson with the bit between his teeth today & with clear message to those 148 MPs who voted against him: I’m going nowhere. KS’s efforts on calling out PM on NHS batted away. Perhaps Labour decided they better of with wounded BJ in power & personal attacks no longer necessary

— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) June 8, 2022

His troops, rebels and loyalists alike, were always going to be behind @BorisJohnson today but he is enjoying himself at #PMQs.
Clearly delighted at Starmer’s failure to land blows and dismissive of Blackford.

Is that good or bad for the Tory party long-term? Discuss

— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) June 8, 2022

Kindest explanation for that performance is that Starmer thinks Labour is best served by Johnson remaining in place

— James Forsyth (@JGForsyth) June 8, 2022

As I judged it, Starmer’s performance was fine/okay rather than poor. But I follow PMQs on TV. I’m told by colleagues watching in the chamber that, from where they were sitting, it was all very flat. His best moment came (as it often does) when he used his final question to personalise the issue. Perhaps he should frame more of his questions in personal terms.

On the plus side, though, Starmer was asking the right questions. NHS performance figure are very poor at the moment and millions of people will have had their own experience recently of having to wait much longer than usual to to see a doctor. This situation is unlikely to improve soon and it is hard to see how this won’t be a big election issue. If so, Johnson will need better answers than he provided today.

Kenny MacAskill (Alba) says Belgium has a social tariff for the poorest energy customers. Should we do the same here, and end the injustice of pre-payment meters?

Johnson says the government is helping 8m households with £1,200 of support. That is the supporting being given right now. The government can do it because of the strength of the economy, and the tough calls it got right.

And that’s it. PMQs is over.

Barbara Keeley (Lab) says other European countries are waiving visas for the Ukrainian symphony orchestra, but not the UK. Will the UK match what our EU neigbours are doing and waive the visa fees?

Johnson says Keeley should bring this case to the Home Office. He says many MPs are hosting Ukrainians in their own homes.

Tulip Siddiq (Lab) asks about a 13-year-old Ukrainian send back to her home in Ukraine, which is under siege, because the Home Office would not process her visa application.

Johnson says the Home Office will look at this. But it has processed more than 120,000 visas for Ukrainians, he says.

Afzal Khan (Lab) says he would have more sympathy for the claim the PM is getting on with the job if it started in the first place. He says Johnson claimed recently the Passport Office was processing passports in four to six weeks. But the Passport Office says it is taking up to 10 weeks, and many of his constituents are having to wait longer.

Johnson says 91% of people are gettting a passport within six weeks. More staff are being hired. And the strength of demand is a sign of the strength of the economy, he says.

As for travel chaos, he says Labour has not yet criticised the RMT over its proposed rail strike.

Johnson says ‘nothing and no one’ will stop him carrying on as PM and delivering for British people

I have beefed up the post at 12.04pm with the full quotes from Angela Eagle and Boris Johnson.

Johnson said “nothing and no one” would stop him carrying on as PM.

And what I want her to know is that absolutely nothing and no one, least of all her, is going to stop us with getting on delivering for the British people.

You may need to refresh the page to get the update to appear.

Colum Eastwood, the SDLP leader, asks Johnson for a commitment that he will not break international law.

He is referring to the Northern Ireland protocol, and this report about advice that disapplying parts of the protocol might be illegal.

Johnson says the reports Eastwood has seen are not true.

SNP’s Ian Blackford tells Johnson ‘it’s over’ for him

Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, says Johnson is a lame duck PM presiding over a divided party in a disunited kingdom.

Week after week I’ve called on this prime minister to resign. I’ve been met with a wall of noise from the Tory benches. I thought they were trying to shout me down … when all this time it turns out that 41% of them have been cheering me on.

Let’s be clear, at least the numbers don’t lie. 41% of his own MPs have no confidence in him. 66% of MPs across the house don’t support him, and 97% of Scottish MPs want the minister for the union shown the door.

We now have a lame duck prime minister presiding over a divided party in a disunited kingdom. How does the prime minister expect to continue when even unionist leaders in Scotland won’t back him?

Johnson says he wants to thank Blackford for his “characteristic warm words”. He says Blackford is a benefit to unionism.

Blackford says Johnson is acting like the Black Knight in Monty Python saying it’s just a flesh wound.

The prime minister is acting like Monty Python’s black knight, running around declaring it’s just a flesh wound. And no amount of delusion and denial will save the prime minister from the truth, this story won’t go away until he goes away.

For once in his life he needs to wake up to reality. Prime minister it’s over. It’s done. The prime minister has no options left but Scotland does.

Scotland has the choice of an independent future. It’s not just the prime minister that we have zero confidence in, it’s the broken Westminster system which puts a man like him in power.

Can the prime minister tell us how it is democratic that Scotland is struck with a prime minister we don’t trust, a Conservative party we don’t support, and Tory governments we haven’t voted for since 1955?

Johnson says Blackford wants independence. But our country is independent, he says. That would only be reversed if we had “the disaster of a Labour/SNP government” taking the UK back into the EU.

Sir Oliver Heald (Con) says, changing the subject, he wants to address “sewage overflows”. This generates some laughter, probably from MPs who feel that we’ve had quite a lot of that already.

Starmer says “raising taxes because you have failed to grow the economy isn’t a plan for the NHS”. Things are getting worse, he says. But the government is changing the rules to cover this up.

He says he spoke to a footballer who had to crowdfund for an operation, because otherwise he would have to wait two years. And he says he spoke to someone whose mother died while they waited for an ambulance. The government is “utterly unable to improve the NHS”.

Johnson says MPs will feel sympathy for these people. But the government is making colossal investments in the NHS, he says. He accuses Starmer of not retracting his claim that the UK had the worst Covid record in the EU. The mission of the government is to unite and level up the whole country, he says. He mentions his tutoring programme, his literacy targets, plans to expand home ownership, and making the UK the enterprise centre of Europe. He will get on with his job, he says, and he hopes Starmer gets on with his.

Some Tories are shouting “more”, but it does not sound very authentic.

“Oh dear,” says Starmer. He says pretending no rules were broken did not work. Pretending the economic is moving won’t work. And pretending 48 new hospitals are being build won’t work either.

He says Johnson wants to change the NHS contract, so patients can wait two years, not one year, for treatment.

Why won’t the PM scrap his plans to green light inadequate NHS standards?

Johnson claims Starmer’s line of attack is not working. He says standards in the NHS have been raised. Waiting times have been cut for those who have to wait the longest. The government is using its economic strength to invest in the NHS. The government is on target to recruit 50,000 new nurses thanks to the investments Labour opposed.

Starmer says cancer waits have been going up for 10 years. So Johnson cannot blame the pandemic.

He says Johnson claims “paint jobs and refurbs” were the same as new hospitals.

Patients are at risk because of the failure to fix inadequate buildings.

Johnson says this line of attack is “satirical”. Labour was the author of the PFI scheme that bankrupted hospitals. He claims he is building 48 new hospitals, the biggest capital programme in the history of the NHS, he says. But Labour opposed the health and social care levy, he says.

Starmer quotes from the letter sent by the Tory MP Jesse Norman on Monday saying the government lacks a big plan. Once-loyal MPs do not believe the PM, Starmer says.

He says it is not just access to GPs; there is a problem with access to cancer services, he says. He says 135,000 extra people are waiting for cancer tests. Is there a better description of this service than “wanting and inadequate”?

Johnson says the diagnostic hubs have cut the times for cancer tests. More staff are being hired because of the investment he made. But “the party of Bevan” opposed this.

Starmer says Johnson seems to agree with Dorries. Johnson promised 6,000 more GPs. But the health secretary says that won’t happen. People cannot get to see GPs. If GP access was wanting before the pandemic, what is it now?

Johnson says Starmer is wrong. He says there are record numbers of doctors in training. There are more nurses this year than last year, and 72,000 in training. That is because of the investment put in that was opposed by Labour.

Keir Starmer says he does not know if they noise that greeted Johnson when he arrived as cheering or booing.

Why did Nadine Dorries says the NHS was unprepared for the pandemic.

He is referring to a Twitter thread from Dorries attacking Jeremy Hunt.

Johnson says all over the world governments were not prepared for the pandemic. But it had the fastest vaccine rollout in the world, he says.



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