Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Boris Johnson survives last minute coup to keep him out of Downing Street

Sir Alan Duncan
Sir Alan Duncan

Boris Johnson survived a coup to keep him out of Downing Street last night, after a prominent Tory critic failed in an attempt to force a Commons confidence vote.

Sir Alan Duncan, who resigned from the Foreign Office yesterday, applied for an emergency debate on the next Conservative leader to establish whether Parliament “supports his wish to form a government”.

The vote, if lost, would have put pressure on Theresa May and her ability to recommend to the Queen that Mr Johnson, who is expected to win the leadership contest this morning, could form a government.

Speaker John Bercow rejected the application for the debate however, averting the potential for constitutional confusion.

Sir Alan insisted his actions were not motivated by “personal animosity of any sort” about Mr Johnson but said he had “very grave concerns that he flies by the seat of his pants and it’s all a bit haphazard and ramshackle”.

He told the BBC that the timing of his resignation was to “try and prompt an emergency debate in the Commons ahead of Boris becoming prime minister – and it’s probably going to be him – because it’s the first time in living memory we have had a minority government change prime minister in mid-term”.

He added: “A fundamental principle of our democracy is that the prime minister is the person who can command a majority in the House of Commons and that is untested, and it is in doubt.

“I thought, in order to avoid a constitutional crisis, we should test that on the Tuesday before he goes to the palace on the Wednesday and the Speaker has denied me and the House that opportunity.”

Sir Alan’s resignation is the first of several expected before tomorrow, when Mr Johnson is predicted to become prime minister.

Chancellor Philip Hammond, Justice Secretary David Gauke and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart have all said that they would quit before Mr Johnson takes office.

Sir Alan’s resignation came after Mr Johnson restated his firm intention to get the UK out of the European Union by the end of October, claiming a deal with Brussels could be reached if the country has the “will” and the “drive” for Brexit.

The former foreign secretary said if it was possible to get to the moon and back 50 years ago, then the problem of the Irish border could be solved.

The ballot of Conservative Party members closed at 5pm yesterday, with the result expected this morning.

Mrs May will tender her resignation to the Queen after taking prime minister’s questions in the Commons tomorrow afternoon, with the new Tory leader set to enter Number 10 soon after.

Already a subscriber? Sign in



More from the Press and Journal Scottish politics team

More from the Press and Journal