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148 of his own MPs want Boris Johnson out

Monday night’s secret ballot of Tory MPs has surely signalled the beginning of the end of Boris Johnson’s time as prime minister. 148 of his own MPs want him out. Add that to the main opposition parties and more than two thirds of MPs think he’s not fit to be prime minister. The fact he can even think about carrying on tells us there’s a fundamental flaw in Britain’s “democracy”.

Anyone with any integrity would have resigned when the truth about lockdown parties at Number 10 started to emerge. Instead the prime minister came up with one story after another, showing no shame when each of his excuses was proven to be a lie.

It was no surprise when senior civil servant Sue Gray’s investigation delivered a damning verdict. It was also no surprise when Boris Johnson refused to do the decent thing and resign. He still faces an investigation by parliament’s Privileges Committee. In preparation for this he’s busy rewriting the Ministerial Code to make it even harder for anyone to hold him to account.

It looks like the Tories are deciding he has become a liability and has got to go, but the problem is much deeper than just one man. Most of the Cabinet believe it’s ok to have a prime minister who laughed and drank at boozy parties while tens of millions of ordinary people made huge sacrifices to obey the rules that he made but then ignored. We even had one minister reminding Tory MPs that a group of billionaires who bankroll their party wanted Johnson to stay. She was effectively admitting that if you’ve got a few million to spare you can buy influence in the government. The entire Westminster system of government is wide open to corruption and none of the London parties seems to care.

An opinion poll published this week by IPSOS Mori showed just how alienated Boris Johnson’s government has become from Scotland. 83% of people in Scotland said they were dissatisfied with his performance as Prime Minister, with only 12%, a record low figure, saying they were satisfied. This is entirely in tune with the message I’m getting from people across this constituency. Without even waiting to be asked, people who previously told me they were not SNP supporters are now saying they are appalled at the complete lack of integrity and honesty running right through the British government. In a democracy everyone needs to accept that sometimes their side won’t win but nobody should ever have to accept a government that can’t be trusted.

The same opinion poll asked people in Scotland which party they would trust to grow Scotland’s economy, tackle the cost of living crisis, manage education and schools in Scotland, and manage the NHS in Scotland. On all four questions the answer was that more people would trust the current Scottish Government than Labour and the Tories added together. This is an extraordinary level of public trust in a Government that’s now been in office for more than fifteen years.

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