Politics

‘How can you look your constituents in the eye?’ Vine panel descends in heated Boris row

Boris Johnson supporter grilled by Labour MP on Jeremy Vine

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Conservative MP Brendan Clarke-Smith praised the victory of the Prime Minister as Boris Johnson secured a majority support result in the confidence vote on Monday evening. Opposition Labour MP Nadia Whittome criticised the result as she argued Tory MPs had failed in their “duty” to force the Prime Minister to resign. In response, the Conservative MP argued he was “sick and tired” of Labour critics using coronavirus “tragedies” to denounce Boris Johnson.

Speaking on Jeremy Vine’s morning show, Mr Clarke-Smith said: “There’s still a lot to offer, we’ve been through a pandemic and, as you’ve seen last night, he’s also won a vote of confidence as well, so absolutely, I think it’s time to push on now.”

The Tory MP added: “Then in terms of covid, there’s lots of things we got right, lots of things we got wrong, you could point to the vaccine programme that we did a good job at.

“Maybe some of those rules, maye there were too many grey areas at the moment and, of course, we’ve got the Leader of the opposition who’s got his own police investigation at the moment. 

“I think people don’t want us to dwell on this too much really.”

Labour MP Ms Whittome asked: “Brendan, do you really believe that? How can you look your constituents in the eye?”

She continued: “Someone who went to their grandparents’ funeral on zoom, tell them that you’ve failed in your duty to force the Prime Minister to resign.”

Mr Clarke-Smith was quick to snap back at the accusation of the Labour MP as he said: “It’s not my duty at all Nadia.”

He continued: “I’ll be honest, I’m getting a bit sick and tired of people using personal tragedies and what’s happened with covid to try and further their party political agenda.

“Really, there are people who dislike Boris Johnson for winning the general election, they dislike him for Brexit, some dislike his character.

“I find it really distasteful the way that covid is continually being pushed as a way of forcing him out because people can’t do it during an election.”

Read more: Would Boris beat Sir Keir if vote was held tomorrow?

The Tory MP denounced Labour’s focus on covid tragedies as “distasteful” as he shunned the idea that it had become the Conservative “duty” to remove the Prime Minister.

Mr Clarke-Smith had earlier praised the “huge mandate” Mr Johnson was elected upon with an 80-seat Tory majority in Parliament.

He suggested it was time to move the political focus onto pressing matters of concern for the British population, rather than the reputation of Boris Johnson as a leader.

A statement from Number Ten that echoed the sentiments of the Tory MP said: “Prime Minister Boris Johnson will bring together his Cabinet today and pledge to continue delivering on what matters to the British people.”

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The Prime Minister was able to secure his leadership of the Conservative party with 211 votes of support over 148 opposition votes.

In a social media statement following the vote of confidence, Mr Clark-Smith asserted his support for Mr Johnson as he said: “The Prime Minister has stood firm and tonight has had his mandate reconfirmed. 

“Now is the time to unite and get on with the job.”

YouGov polling data backed the statements of the Tory MP as 61 percent of the country urged the Government to focus on the economy as the primary matter of political concern.

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