Boris Johnson: We need more than a change of Prime Minister, rotten Tories must go too – Ian Murray MP

From our vantage point on the Labour benches at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, we could see the faces of all the Tory MPs seated behind Boris Johnson.
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Throughout, as he kept up the pretence that was still in control, Johnson, unsurprisingly, spent most of the time looking dead ahead.

Had he turned around, he would have seen a sea of ashen faces, among them many recently-resigned ministers, with a few shakes of the head and looks of contempt.

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How could the Prime Minister not see the writing on the wall? Even his great idol Margaret Thatcher knew when it was time to go.

As I write this, Johnson is still insisting he will fight on despite the number of resignations increasing by the hour, meaning he can’t fill all his ministerial positions.

But it’s a futile attempt. The Prime Minister is done, and Keir Starmer tore him apart at PMQs, saying the mass resignations were “the first recorded case of the sinking ships fleeing the rat”.

After all the sleaze, scandal and colossal failures, his government is now finished.

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When he does finally vacate Downing Street, his legacy will be to have brought disgrace to the office, soiled our politics, eroded trust in public office, and weakened the Union.

Keir Starmer can restore decency, integrity and honesty to British politics (Picture: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)Keir Starmer can restore decency, integrity and honesty to British politics (Picture: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Keir Starmer can restore decency, integrity and honesty to British politics (Picture: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Tory leadership contenders will rush to claim that they will deliver change from the Johnson regime.

But the truth is that Cabinet ministers and all those who have kept him as leader have known all along who he is and stood by him.

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Some even admitted it publicly, like Michael Gove who said in 2016 that Johnson was “incapable” of building a team and providing unity. Others kept their thoughts private. But all were cheerleaders and are therefore all complicit, backing him when he broke the law, lied repeatedly, and mocked the sacrifices of the British people by partying.

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The problem isn’t just him though, it’s the entire Conservative Party, and the rot runs deep.

This is music to the SNP’s ears of course, who are desperate to pretend that the chaos of the current government means that Westminster’s institutions can’t be fixed.

They are wrong – they can be fixed with a Labour government.

That’s what Anas Sarwar and Keir Starmer have been outlining this week, with solutions for the future: the abolition of the House of Lords, a legal requirement for governments to co-operate, and fixing the catastrophic Brexit conceived by Johnson.

The SNP’s solution is to walk away.

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But the progressive solution is to build a better UK. One that delivers prosperity and security and restores trust in politics. The only way to get real change is to replace this entire complicit Tory government with a Labour government.

That’s the opportunity that will be given to people across the UK at the next general election, in what could be, a matter of weeks away. An election the SNP can’t say if they want or not.

Nicola Sturgeon’s attempt to make that a “de facto” referendum is an astonishing insult given the high stakes: a chance to bring back decency, integrity, honesty, opportunity and fairness to our politics and country with a Labour government working to unite every community in the UK.

Ian Murray is Labour MP for Edinburgh South