Ian Murray calls for general election if Tory MPs ‘too spineless’ to oust Boris Johnson
Labour’s shadow Scotland Secretary accused the Prime Minister of “tarnishing” Britain’s reputation,
Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, Mr Murray also claimed Scottish Tories who voted to force out Mr Johnson were motivated by self-interest, rather than doing the right thing.
Calling for an election, he said: “Let’s have one tomorrow. If the Tory party can’t get rid of this Prime Minister, let's leave it to the public.
"If the Tory MPs are spineless enough not to get rid of this guy who is degrading his office and tarnishing the reputation of the whole country, then go to the palace.”
The Edinburgh South MP suggested Mr Johnson staying was good for Labour, but a disaster for the country.
He said: "His approval ratings are appallingly bad, and we’ll get actual crosses in ballot boxes.
”In that sense, purely for naked electoral sakes it’s better that he stays.
”But we’ve been pretty genuine in saying that it’s important for the country to get rid of him.
“His tactic is to bring us all into the gutter, and Keir Starmer’s response is public service is much more important that.
“It’s about the office of the Prime Minister, the country, and the issues facing people now.”
The shadow minister also criticised suggestions the Scottish Tories voting against Mr Johnson in last Monday’s no-confidence motion had taken a principled stance.
Douglas Ross, Andrew Bowie, John Lamont and David Mundell were some of the 148 who voted against the Prime Minister.
Mr Murray said: "I don’t think they took a principled stand, if Douglas Ross was driving he’d be doing donut turns and the road would be black from his tyres.
”The statements about letters going in or being withdrawn, all those decisions were calculated on the best decision for him.
"I think they’ve humiliated themselves, as a political entity the Scottish Tories are dead.
”Nobody trusts them and they’re being laughed at.
"They have sat around a table and made the decision at each step of the way at what to do, and most people in the country will go ‘this should come natural to you, he’s a proven liar so you should not back him’.
"Douglas likes to stress they are the Conservative and Unionist party, but the biggest threat to the Union is this prime minister and the way he’s reacted to it.”
Mr Murray said the only reason the Prime Minister had survived was Tory MPs had decided “there is no alternative”.
He explained: “Each individual of those 211 people, none have done it in national interest, the vast majority have supported him for their own personal interest.
"They are thinking can he sack me, can I win my seat, but I expect people have looked around and gone there are no better options.
“It says a lot of fundamental things about the party, Mr Johnson had reduced it to a shell of what it should be.
”I don’t agree with them one iota, but it is a strong historic party now reduced to rubble."
He added: “It is not a cabinet of all the talents, but just a cabinet of those sycophantic enough to support him.”
Mr Murray suggested they had calculated it was the end for Mr Johnson, and were presuming soon there would be a new leader.
He continued: “Monday was a huge vote against, that’s enough to see him off, holding on is bad for the country and the writing is on the wall.
“It’s hard to say who, everyone thought it would be Rishi Sunak, but he’s over, he’s finished, and at the hand of Johnson.
“The favourite was Hunt, but I just don’t think Hunt can carry the party, I don’t think he could win the membership”.
This week the Prime Minister was greeted with cheers by supporters at PMQs, only for the first question to be Labour’s Dame Angela Eagle saying he’s “loathed” and asking him to explain why “if 148 of his own backbenchers don’t trust him, why on earth should the country?”
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