Douglas Ross withdraws and Boris Johnson bounces back.

Sneering media elite are wrong again

I have consistently predicted that Boris would not resign and would not face an imminent leadership crisis, despite the sneering elite of the Westminster media bubble predicting his downfall consistently since last December. On the contrary, I argued that there would be a Boris bounce and so it comes to pass, as leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, Douglas Ross, reveals that he has withdrawn his letter of no confidence in Johnson as Prime Minister and Conservative Party Leader.

Indeed, Ross’s statement [below] echoes precisely the post I made a few weeks ago, that now is not the time for self-indulgent in-fighting:

“The middle of an international crisis is not the time to be discussing resignations, unless it’s the removal from office of Vladimir Putin”

“There will be a time and place to debate partygate but, as even Keir Starmer said at the weekend, we should put that on pause while there is war in Europe.”

“It’s essential that we all fully support what the UK Government is doing. In light of Russia’s appalling actions, the government and Prime Minister need our backing, and they have mine and the whole Scottish Conservative party.”

In the nick of time

Of course, it does fall short of a ringing endorsement but had the letter not been withdrawn, then it would have been more likely that Ross himself, rather than Johnson, would have had to stand down before the coming Scottish Conservative Conference in a few days’ time. He could not credibly appear on a platform with a Leader in whom he had no confidence, but who was striding boldly around the world stage.

There is a lesson to be learned here, that, like him or loathe him, Boris is good in a crisis. He has sound political instincts and the guts for a fight. His galvanising of a free-world response to Putin’s scandalous and illegal invasion of Ukraine is demonstration enough of that, to say nothing of his delivering during the pandemic and then lifting the lock-down rules.

Not now, nor anytime soon

As I wrote last December, and again in January, all political careers end in failure, so there may come a time when the Conservatives turn against Boris Johnson, and there may be a day when he is forced out of 10 Downing Street, but that time is still not now, and that day has not yet come. What’s more, it won’t come anytime soon.

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