Vote of no confidence: Boris Johnson 'undoubtedly' politically damaged, says senior Tory MSP

Boris Johnson has “undoubtedly” been politically damaged and should “reflect very carefully” on the result of Monday night’s confidence vote, a senior Conservative MSP has said.

Stephen Kerr, the party’s chief whip in Holyrood, said the leadership debate was “like a dark shadow” hanging over “all of the good things” the UK Government is trying to do.

Tory MPs voted by 211 to 148 in support of Mr Johnson as part of a confidence vote that has left him wounded.

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Stephen Kerr

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The Prime Minister told reporters in Downing Street: “I think it’s an extremely good, positive, conclusive, decisive result, which enables us to move on, to unite and to focus on delivery and that is exactly what we are going to do.”

But speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Mr Kerr said: "I think what we saw last night in the vote, 148 expressing their lack of confidence in the Prime Minister, is simply a reflection of the deep anger that is felt across the country and particularly within the Conservative Party about the disclosures of the last few months.

"And the Prime Minister now needs to reflect very carefully on this result."

Asked how damaged Mr Johnson is, Mr Kerr said: "Clearly it's not a strong result for the Prime Minister and politically, undoubtedly, he is damaged.

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"And he will now need to take time to reflect on the message that has I think very clearly been sent from this result."

Mr Kerr said he did not know how long Mr Johnson could survive as Prime Minister.

The former MP said: "I don't know how long the Prime Minister can continue as Prime Minister, that is a matter that lies in the hands I think primarily with, of course, himself, his Cabinet and ministers, and my former colleagues in the House of Commons."

He added: "It's not good for the Conservative Party in general to be in this situation, to have the leadership of the party as a shadow hanging over everything the Government is trying to do.

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"The Government is trying to do some very good and worthy things, and this whole issue of the Prime Minister's leadership is like a dark shadow over all of the good things that the Government is doing.”

Monday night’s ballot was triggered after at least 54 MPs – 15 per cent of the party’s representatives in the Commons – formally indicated they had no confidence in the Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson could suffer further blows in two key by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton on June 23.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross voted against the Prime Minister after previously flip-flopping on the issue.

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But Mr Kerr argued Mr Ross's position had been “consistent” and the Scottish party leader had “principle”.

The chief whip also said he did not think there would be a snap general election.

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