'Party's over': How the front pages saw Boris Johnson's no confidence vote

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
The Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail had contrasting front page headlines on Boris Johnson's confidence vote win. (Daily Mirror/Daily Mail)
The Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail had contrasting front page headlines on Boris Johnson's confidence vote win. (Daily Mirror/Daily Mail)

The front pages of Britain's newspapers were dominated by one story on Tuesday - the outcome of Boris Johnson's no confidence vote among Conservative MPs.

On Monday evening, the prime minister won what he called a "convincing" victory, with 211 of his party's 359 MPs backing him.

However, with the remaining 148 Tory MPs voting against Johnson, it means 41% of the party's representatives have no confidence in their leader.

Watch: Boris Johnson survives Tory leadership confidence vote

It means Johnson's immediate political future remains uncertain, especially ahead of two crunch by-elections later this month that will test his popularity again, this time among the public.

This uncertainty was expressed by several of Tuesday's front pages, with the Daily Telegraph's headline reading: "Hollow victory tears Tories apart".

(Daily Telegraph)
(Daily Telegraph)
(The Guardian)
(The Guardian)

The paper said Johnson's authority had been "crushed" by the vote's outcome and that he must now fend off potential rivals for the leadership.

Sherelle Jacobs wrote in the paper: “It is bad enough that Johnson’s premiership could amount to such a dismal cliché. Must we now watch the tragedy descend into a farce as he defiantly limps on?”

Read more: 'Despite what you may think, Boris Johnson has never been that popular'

(The Independent)
(The Independent)
(The i)
(The i)

The front page of the i newspaper described a "wounded Johnson in peril" and claims that Conservative backbenchers are urging the cabinet to oust the prime minister.

Other newspapers were more explicit with their front pages with Metro and the Daily Mirror both telling Johnson the "party is over", referencing his much-criticised handling of the recent Partygate scandal that sparked the confidence vote.

Metro says Johnson's "days in Downing Street now look numbered", while the Mirror called the vote a "brutal attack" by 148 of his own MPs.

(Daily Mirror)
(Daily Mirror)
(Metro)
(Metro)

The Mirror's leader described Johnson as a “zombie prime minister” who achieved a “pyrrhic victory”.

It said: “Johnson will stagger on. All his energy will be devoted to supergluing himself to No 10’s black door. If this month’s red wall Wakefield and blue wall Tiverton by-elections are lost, MPs who backed him will regret their stupidity.

“Johnson’s pyrrhic victory was a terrible win.”

Both The Times and The Financial Times said Johnson was "wounded" by the vote.

Former Tory leader Lord Hague, writing in The Times, called on Johnson to quit as prime minister.

He wrote: "Words have been said that cannot be retracted, reports published that cannot be erased, and votes have been cast that show a greater level of rejection than any Tory leader has ever endured and survived.

(The Times)
(The Times)
(Financial Times)
(Financial Times)

"Deep inside, he should recognise that, and turn his mind to getting out in a way that spares party and country such agonies and uncertainties."

Lord Hague said that while he didn't face a confidence vote during his tenure, he “would have regarded my position as completely untenable if more than a third of my MPs had ever voted against me”.

(Daily Mail)
(Daily Mail)
(Daily Express)
(Daily Express)
(The Sun)
(The Sun)
(Daily Star)
(Daily Star)

The Daily Express said Johnson was "defiant and unbowed" by the vote, while the Daily Mail proclaimed: "Boris vows: I'll bash on".

The Mail said the 148 Tories who voted against their leader had "hit the self-destruct button", while The Sun went further, saying that Johnson had been "stabbed in back" by them.

Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover backed Johnson, writing that “when he focuses his energy, he can produce the goods”.

In its editorial, The Sun says Tory rebels “should have given Boris another year to turn things around”, with deputy prime minister Dominic Raab writing on the same page that Johnson is a leader with “the perseverance to deliver on the people’s priorities”.

Watch: Boris Johnson says vote outcome a 'very good result'

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting