Boris Johnson news latest: Labour to call confidence motion today in bid to oust PM

Graham Brady confirms new prime minister will be revealed on 5 September

Sir Keir Starmer will table a motion of no confidence in Boris Johnson’s government today, as Labour seeks to foil his plans to remain in No 10 until the Tory leadership race concludes in September.

With just hours left on Tuesday morning for candidates to secure the requisite number of supporters to appear on the ballot, recently-appointed education secretary James Cleverly accused Rishi Sunak of acting like a Labour chancellor, as the latter prepared to launch his campaign.

Mr Sunak is the only candidate not to pledge tax cuts on gaining office, though he later said he would bring cuts once inflation was brought under control.

Following a vote deciding the membership of the powerful 1922 Committee executive on Monday, chair Sir Graham Brady announced that the new prime minister will be revealed on 5 September.

Candidates will be whittled down to two by several rounds of voting among MPs before the vote goes to the Tory membership. The first vote by MPs will take place on Wednesday, Sir Graham said.

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Zahawi brushes off tax pledge criticism from BoE governor

Nadhim Zahawi has insisted it was appropriate to set out tax proposals as part of his campaign – after criticism from Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey that sitting chancellors should make such pledges in budgets, not leadership races.

Mr Bailey told MPs yesterday: “I care less about what the other 15 or 20 or however many there are at the moment think about this, but I do care about somebody who is actually the chancellor who is running around doing it. That can move markets, can’t it? That can cause problems.”

But Mr Zahawi told BBC Breakfast: “I’m setting out my stall as prime minister and I have fully costed these pledges, and I’ll be saying more about the way we’ll pay for that in the coming days.”

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Labour’s confidence motion is first since January 2019

Today’s confidence motion will be the first time such a vote has been held since Jeremy Corbyn brought a vote against Theresa May’s government in January 2019, following a historic defeat on her Brexit plans.

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Labour to move motion of no confidence in Boris Johnson’s government today

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has this breaking update:

Sir Keir Starmer will table a no confidence motion in Boris Johnson’s government today in an attempt to oust him from office before the conclusion of the Tories’ leadership contest in September.

With the prime minister now set to remain in No 10 for the next eight weeks, Labour will force Tory MPs and the 11 leadership hopefuls to vote on whether or not to support Mr Johnson’s government.

The party confirmed it is seeking to hold the vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday after prime minister’s questions.

Despite Tory MPs’ anger and mass resignations from the ministerial ranks last week, Labour’s motion is highly unlikely to pass, with many MPs now accepting Mr Johnson’s caretaker status.

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Hunt ‘doesn’t need shiny video to get his point across’, Tory MP claims

Throwing his backing behind Jeremy Hunt, Tory MP Anthony Mangnall has told Sky News that the former health secretary “doesn’t need a shiny video with music in the background to get his point across”.

He insisted Mr Hunt’s campaign “is doing very well”, adding: “He’s a dignified candidate, he’s someone who I think has a great deal of respect from across the party and across the membership and across the whole of the country, and I think we’ve got the numbers to make a really good showing.”

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Zahawi ‘confident’ he has enough backing to reach ballot

With just hours left for Tory leadership hopefuls to secure enough backing to reach the ballot, Nadhim Zahawi has insisted that he has the requisite support of 20 colleagues.

“We’ve got them and we will be putting a nomination in later,” the new chancellor told BBC Breakfast.

A running count in The Spectator magazine places his support at 13.

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1922 vice chair expects 11 or 12 Tories to reach ballot

Securing the support of 20 fellow MPs to make it onto the Conservative leadership ballot “isn’t going to be an easy task”, Nusrat Ghani has said.

The 1922 Committee vice-chair said at one point she thought there might be some 16 contenders.

Asked how many candidates might get over the first hurdle of having 20 backers, she told the Today programme: “I’m wishing good luck to every candidate. There was a point where I think a number of us were getting incoming calls and I thought for a moment ‘gosh, we might even have 16’.

“But who knows, who knows? Securing the support of 20 backers isn’t going to be an easy task. At the moment, I believe there are 11, there could be 12. Let’s see by 10pm tonight who’s been able to get the nomination.”

She said the committee “will do everything we can” to make sure the process is as “efficient and as swift” as possible, adding that the executive will not be publicly declaring who they are supporting in the leadership race “to make sure we’re doing everything we can appropriately without fear or favour”.

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‘Freedom isn’t free’: Shapps vows to boost defence spending to 3% of GDP

Grant Shapps has pledged to increase defence spending by 3 per cent of gross domestic product, warning that the UK “can’t afford not to”.

Writing in The Times, the transport secretary said: “Freedom is not free. That is why, as prime minister, I will raise defence spending to 3 per cent of GDP, in contrast to Nato’s recommended minimum of 2 per cent.”

Jeremy Hunt has made the same pledge – higher than the 2.5 per cent rise by the end of the decade recently committed to by Boris Johnson after a Cabinet row over the issue. But this is not enough to prevent Britain from falling behind other Nato countries, including Poland and Lithuania, which have increased their military budgets following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Mr Hunt.

Mr Shapps pointed to the kit limitations of the Navy and the RAF, adding: “The Army is shrinking in manpower, artillery and armour. Quality is vital, but quantity has a quality all of its own.

“We have had to wait a decade to replace the venerable Nimrod subhunter with the new Poseidon aircraft. The Vanguard-class boats carrying the Trident nuclear deterrent are based on the Clyde, and they are nearing the end of their lives.

“The extra money I am proposing will help to bring forward the modernisation of the deterrent with new Dreadnought-class boats. We will accelerate the in-service dates for programmes that have been ‘shifted to the right’ to ease budgetary pressure.

“The defence of the realm is the first duty of Her Majesty’s Government. Can we afford to spend more money on this core responsibility? The answer is, we can’t afford not to.”

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Mordaunt and Badenoch way out ahead in poll of Tory members

Penny Mordaunt and Kemi Badenoch are the favourites to become the new Tory leader among the party faithful, a new poll has indicated.

Conservative Home – a news and analysis blog popular with grassroots activists – conducted a survey of its readers and the top candidate to replace Boris Johnson is Ms Mordaunt.

The international trade minister, who was previously at the Cabinet Office, got 19.6 per cent, with Kemi Badenoch, the former equalities minister coming a close second with 18.7 per cent.

Former chancellor Rishi Sunak, who currently has the most MPs backing him at 37, came in third place with 12.1 per cent.

My colleague Joe Middleton reports:

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Not just tax cuts needed to boost economy says Tugendhat

Tory leadership contender Tom Tugendhat has said tax cuts cannot be the “only round in the magazine” in stimulating economic growth.

In a speech on Tuesday, the chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee will set out his 10-year plan for growth to address the UK’s lagging productivity.

Like the other contenders – apart from Rishi Sunak – Mr Tugendhat is promising immediate tax cuts, but he will also argue for investment in skills and infrastructure as well tax breaks for research and development.

Read the details in this report:

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Boris Johnson ‘doesn’t want to damage’ any candidate’s chances by offering support

Boris Johnson has refused to speak about the mass exodus of his ministers that led to his resignation last week and said throwing his weight behind one of the candidates to succeed him could “damage” their chances.

Following the accusation in his resignation speech that his tormentors had succumbed to a “herd mentality”, he was asked whether he felt betrayed during a visit to the Francis Crick Institute in London.

Mr Johnson said: “I don’t want to say any more about all that.

“There’s a contest under way and it’s happened, and, you know, I wouldn’t want to damage anybody’s chances by offering my support.

“I just have to get on and, in the last few days or weeks of the job, the constitutional function of the prime minister in this situation is to discharge the mandate, to continue to discharge the mandate, and that’s what I’m doing.”

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