SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that the refusal of Boris Johnson to immediately give up power after losing the confidence of his cabinet, his government and his party is unacceptable and that the only way to remove his grip on government is to force a general election.
The Foyle MP said that his party would back a motion of no confidence in Johnson and fight a general election to create a progressive coalition of Labour, SDLP, SNP and other MPs to put the Tories out of power.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“If there’s one thing that we have learned over the last week, it is that virtually no Tory MP can be trusted to do the right thing. Only when it was in their own personal political self-interest did Johnson’s own cabinet members, and now leadership hopefuls, deign to take action to remove him from government. And even now, faced with a tidal wave of evidence that he is unfit to hold office, there are many who continue to seek his patronage.
“Johnson’s departure from government, when it comes, will be welcome. But the institutional cowardice and naked careerism that infects the Tory top ranks remains a serious threat to good government and specifically to the interests of people in Northern Ireland. With no Executive, no programme for government, a threat to justice for victims and the threat to international law presented by the protocol legislation, we need political leaders with moral fortitude and integrity. By those measures, the Tory leadership candidates fall far short.
“Johnson should have left government immediately. If he will not leave office then his death grip on power should be broken by a confidence motion in the House of Commons. The SDLP will support others to make that happen and we are now calling for a general election to clear the whole Conservative Party out of power. Returning more Labour, SDLP, SNP and other progressive MPs will create a coalition that can put an end to twelve years of Tory rule.
“This government cannot be trusted to do what is right for people and communities in Northern Ireland. So it is right that the people should be given the opportunity to have their say and put them out of power.”