'He's Finished': Tory MP's Brutal Take On Boris Johnson's Future

Ex-prime minster is among Conservative “yesterday’s men and women”, says Caroline Nokes after ill-tempered partygate hearing.
Boris Johnson and Caroline Nokes.
Boris Johnson and Caroline Nokes.
Parliament UK

A senior Tory MP has predicted Boris Johnson’s hopes of a return to Downing Street are in ruins as the former prime minster fights for his political life.

Caroline Nokes, chair of the women and equalities committee of MPs, also said Johnson was among the party’s “yesterday’s men and women” as MPs investigating his partygate denials denounced the “flimsy” assurances they were based on.

If a proposal for a 10-day suspension is voted through by MPs, a by-election in Johnson’s seat could be triggered, potentially spelling the end of his parliamentary career.

Asked whether he is finished if he is punished, Nokes told ITV1’s Peston: “I think that Boris Johnson is finished anyway.

“I think there was a very clear message from his own ministers back in the summer that they didn’t want him to carry on.

“He didn’t choose to stand against Rishi Sunak back in the autumn when we had the second leadership challenge.

“As far as I’m concerned, Boris Johnson is not coming back as prime minister.”

Johnson took a break from the committee hearing to vote against a key plank of Rishi Sunak’s Windsor Framework but was joined by only 21 Tory rebel MPs, meaning it passed comfortably.

Another former prime minister, Liz Truss, were among the Tory rebels, as was ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Nokes said of them: “I think time has moved on and the people who voted against it are yesterday’s men and women.”

Johnson indicated he could refuse to accept the inquiry’s verdict if it finds he committed a contempt of parliament by deliberately misleading the Commons, saying he would “wait to see”.

The remark was echoed by Conservative party chairman Greg Hands when asked if the committee was being fair to Johnson.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” he told ITV1’s Peston. “I think it’s impossible to judge that until we see the report.”

Arch-loyalist Rees-Mogg said Johnson won public support with his defences despite them being met with exasperation by multiple members of the cross-party panel of MPs grilling him.

The Tory MP told Channel 4 News: “I think that if Boris Johnson went to a by-election he would win it comfortably. Because I think he’s winning in the court of public opinion, who see this as a kangaroo court.”


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