Vote of no confidence: Ian Blackford says 'bring it on' to snap election following Boris Johnson confidence vote

SNP Westminster group leader Ian Blackford has declared “bring it on” as he welcomed the suggestion of a snap general election, saying “every party from Scotland is lined up against” Boris Johson.

Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 12:55 pm

Mr Johnson survived a confidence vote within his own party on Monday night by 211 votes to 148 despite a significant revolt against his leadership.

More than 40 per cent of the Prime Minister’s own MPs concluded they had lost confidence in his leadership.

Mr Blackford described the number voting against Mr Johnson as “remarkable” as he said not many people would have predicted 148 Conservative MPs would vote against the Prime Minister.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said “every party from Scotland is lined up against” the Prime Minister as he welcomed the opportunity of a snap general election.

Speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland on Tuesday morning, Mr Blackford said he would welcome the opportunity of a snap election following the vote.

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He said: “If we end up that a snap election is called, as far as I’m concerned, bring it on because it’s that opportunity to reinforce that people in Scotland want no more of what is happening here at Westminster. It’s an opportunity for the SNP to put our case to the people of Scotland one more time and to have that discussion in an election scenario on Scotland’s future.”

Mr Blackford said he would “relish the opportunity” of going “head-to-head” with Tory MPs in Scotland.

He said: "One way or another, he [Boris Johnson] will be gone. There will be by-elections to come, there’s the privileges committee. We will continue to ramp up the pressure.”

Asked about a timeframe for Mr Johnson’s potential removal, Mr Blackford said “we are at the hands of Tory MPs”.

The SNP Westminster leader said: "We’ve seen votes of no confidence with other Tory leaders in the past and inevitably when you have a vote such as this on this sort of scale, then the Prime Minister ends up going.

"If it hadn’t been Boris Johnson, if it was somebody else that recognised this was about integrity, it’s about trust, it’s about someone that’s in a leadership position that’s breached the trust, I would argue, that’s been given to them by the electorate in 2019, he would have gone by now.

"He has no support from the Scottish Conservatives, he has really got every party from Scotland lined up against him. We want him gone.”

Talking about the issue of Scottish independence, Mr Blackford said: “Whether it’s Boris Johnson or anyone else, you can’t ignore democracy, you can’t ignore the mandate the Scottish Government has. The referendum will happen and let’s do it in step with the people of Scotland.”

Following the vote, former Conservative leader William Hague said Boris Johnson had experienced a “greater level of rejection” than any of his predecessors and should quit the premiership.

Writing in The Times, Lord Hague said: “Words have been said that cannot be retracted, reports published that cannot be erased, and votes have been cast that show a greater level of rejection than any Tory leader has ever endured and survived.

“Deep inside he should recognise that, and turn his mind to getting out in a way that spares party and country such agonies and uncertainties.”