Welsh Conservatives hope to put divisions behind them after Boris Johnson confidence vote

Boris Johnson won his confidence vote but an unexpectedly large number of Tory MPs voted to say that they do not have confidence in him.  Credit: PA Images

Welsh Conservatives like others in their party tonight find themselves in the worst of all positions. 

Boris Johnson won his confidence vote but an unexpectedly large number of Tory MPs voted to say that they do not have confidence in him. 

It means he continues as Prime Minister but knows that a large proportion of those sitting on the benches behind him in the Commons do not support him. 

In turn, they head towards the next general election, whenever that will be held, publicly divided and with a leader no longer wanted by many of his own party. 

I can't yet say with any certainty how Welsh Conservatives voted. Before the ballot, six of them had publicly said they would vote to say they have confidence in the Prime Minister. 

They were: Simon Hart, David TC Davies, Sarah Atherton, Craig Williams, Simon Baynes and Alun Cairns. 

Some of those who didn't declare how they were going to vote are from so-called 'red wall' seats in the North such as Vale of Clwyd and Bridgend in the South. 

They are among those MPs said to have owed their positions to Boris Johnson who was able to win over those former Labour-voting areas. 

How that will play out isn't clear, but it's not a good position for the Tories to be in. 

Tonight's vote doesn't solve the problem facing the Conservative party, in fact it seems to me it makes them much, much worse. 

Even some supporters of Boris Johnson say that it is now clear that his days in charge are numbered. Many Conservative MPs feel that he is no longer the electoral asset who won over former Labour-voting seats including some in Wales. 

What's more, the divisions within the party are now out in the open. Things have been said today which can't be unsaid. When ministers dismiss 'media speculation' they will no longer be believed. 

So I predict that we haven't heard the last of this. 

Two by-elections in England later this month could well be lost by the Conservatives, something which would only strengthen the hand of those agitating for a change of leader.

It's very telling that the Conservative MS Darren Millar told Monday night's Sharp End that Boris Johnson has the support of Welsh Conservative Senedd members for now. 

However his leader Andrew RT Davies has tonight said that it’s now time to draw a line under the party’s arguments. 

Commenting on the vote of confidence in Prime Minister Boris Johnson this evening, Andrew RT Davies said: “I have always said that the Prime Minister has to command the confidence of the country, the House of Commons and the Parliamentary party.

“The Prime Minister has secured a majority this evening in the Parliamentary Party.

“People across Wales and the UK want to see the Conservatives continuing to take the bold decisions to tackle the cost of living pressures we are all facing in our day to day lives.

“While people are struggling, today the Conservative Party has sadly spent all day talking to itself.

“Colleagues in Westminster, irrespective of their vote tonight, need to respect the 2019 General Election result that put them into their Parliamentary seats and start the job of rebuilding trust and confidence in the Government’s ability to improve people’s lives wherever they live.

“Now it’s time to draw a line under this, and get on with addressing the cost of living pressures people are facing.”

Expect continued difficulties, continued attacks from opposition parties and a very uncertain future for a number of MPs and the Prime Minister himself.