'Tigger-like' prime minister not out of the woods yet as Anglia region MPs voice concerns

Boris Johnson makes a speech on 8 June.
Credit: PA
Boris Johnson tried to move on with a major speech on Thursday - but was it enough to draw a line under recent scandals? Credit: PA

After a bruising start to the week at Westminster Boris Johnson told his cabinet he wanted to move on and tried to reset with a big speech on Thursday. So are Conservative MPs in the region ready to draw a line under the leadership questions, asks ITV News Anglia political correspondent Emma Hutchinson.

In the East, just three Tory MPs publicly said they did not back Boris Johnson in the confidence vote.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous sent his letter calling for this vote back in January and says his view has not changed; Basildon and Billericay MP John Baron also said he could not back the PM; and the Northampton South MP Andrew Lewer said he voted against Boris Johnson as "integrity and trust' must be restored.

Other Tory MPs in our region simply kept quiet, not publicly saying whether they supported the PM or not.

Meanwhile, cabinet ministers and others in our region backed the PM, many tweeting support saying Boris Johnson "had got the big calls right".

And after the vote Conservative MPs including North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara and North East Bedfordshire MP Richard Fuller rallied round to say this was a "clear and decisive victory" and that government must now get on with dealing with issues that matter to constituents, such as the cost-of-living crisis. 

One cabinet minister in our region told me the PM would be disappointed with the result but said he was like Tigger and would "bounce back".

Others behind the scenes described the result as "bad news", and that it was "crazy to think this is a good result for the PM".

One senior Tory MP in our region who publicly backed the PM told me this was the last time he would be doing so if there were "any more scandals". 

Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter said it was a very "difficult" result for the PM and Boris Johnson must now consider his position.

So what next?

Well, there is a rocky road ahead for the PM. Two tricky by elections - one in Yorkshire, one in Devon - and there is the privileges committee investigation into whether Boris Johnson misled Parliament over Partygate.

Even Wellingborough MP Peter Bone, a staunch supporter of Boris Johnson, told me if that committee finds he lied to Parliament then the prime minister would have to resign.

The prime minister is not out of the woods yet.

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