Boris Johnson says he won't be blown off course after revolt

British PM Boris Johnson in Parliament on June 8, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Mr Boris Johnson said he would not be distracted from his government's agenda after more than 40 per cent of his own Conservative party said they had no confidence in his leadership.

"In a long political career so far, I have of course picked up political opponents all over," the UK Prime Minister said on Wednesday (June 8) in reply to Labour MP Angela Eagle, answering questions in Parliament for the first time since the Tory vote.

He added that "absolutely nothing and no one" would "stop us with getting on and delivering".

Mr Johnson was loudly cheered by his MPs when he took his seat in the chamber, and Tory spirits remained high as opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer failed to land any major blows on the Prime Minister with a line of questioning that focused on the current state of the National Health Service rather than the turmoil in the Tories.

The premier is seeking to reunite his party and move on from the grave blow to his authority provided by the 148 Conservative MPs who voted against him in Monday's confidence vote. That in itself was the culmination of months of infighting and missteps that waylaid his administration.

There was no sign of open dissent from his backbenchers on Wednesday, and Tory questioners focused on policy issues rather than the premier's poor performance in Monday's vote.

Despite having only 211 of his 359 MPs supporting him on Monday, Mr Johnson has not suffered any further backlash from his party in the form of key ministerial resignations or extra criticism.

So far, his promise to get back to his domestic agenda has been enough to stave off a further challenge.

Amid speculation among MPs and in the UK press that Mr Johnson may sack some of his ministers and bring new faces into the government, his press secretary told reporters on Wednesday that there are no plans for a Cabinet reshuffle.

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