BORIS Johnson has survived a vote of no confidence as he continues to cling to power as “caretaker” Prime Minister.

The Tory government tabled a motion of confidence in itself after disagreeing with the wording of Labour’s original motion, with 349 votes from Tory MPs allowing the motion to pass and Johnson to stay in post.

However, the PM appeared to have forgotten this as he opened the debate, adding he had “no idea why” Labour leader Keir Starmer “insisted” on a confidence motion, before Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle pointed out it was his own government.

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Starmer dubbed Johnson a “vengeful squatter”, while the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the only “fresh start” that would work would be a general election.

A blustering Johnson opened the debate with a lengthy speech defending his record and claiming that his government “delivered on every single one of its promises”, something many opposition MPs disputed as the debate raged on.

Johnson told MPs: “We got Brexit done and though the rejoiners and the revengers were left plotting and planning and biding their time – and I’ll have more to say about the events of the last few weeks and months in due course – we delivered on every single one of our promises.”

The PM turned to the Covid-19 pandemic, claiming: “A pandemic that was global, whose origins we do not fully understand but were nothing to do with the British people, and if anything the result of distant misbehaviour involving bats or pangolins, and whose spread was appallingly difficult to manage, and this Government never gave up through wave after wave.”

Johnson then praised the “resilience of the British people” in protecting the NHS, with one Labour MP heard shouting: “You partied in Downing Street.”

In a 15-minute long speech, Blackford blasted the PM and said he does not deserve another day in office, “never mind another seven weeks”.

The National: Blackford blasted Johnson's record during a scathing 15 minute speechBlackford blasted Johnson's record during a scathing 15 minute speech

Blackford said: “Let’s reflect on a man who should never have been put in office in the first place. A man that simply shouldn’t be here for a minute longer, because he demonstrated no dignity in office, in the highest office in the land.

“And he has shown no dignity today in departing. And so every single member of this House needs to ask themselves a very simple question: why on earth does the Prime Minister deserve the dignity of a long goodbye and a seven-week chance to rewrite his own legacy?

“He doesn’t deserve another day. Never mind another seven weeks.”

Blackford added that the crucial point that Better Together parties need to understand is “not only that Scotland have no confidence in this Tory Government, we have no confidence in Westminster control of our country”.

He went on: “The parties here might not like it. They might try to deny it. But that’s democracy and them’s the breaks.

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“We want a different future. A future where we get governments we vote for, where our democratically elected Parliament cannot be overridden and undermined, and where we have a secure foundation on which to build the economic and social future that we want.

“A new Scotland, at the heart of the European Union.”

The SNP Westminster leader blasted Tory MPs for continuing to back Johnson, despite the raft of resignation letters which removed him from office and triggered a leadership election.

He added: “Their failure to get rid of the Prime Minister means that we now finally need to get rid of the lot of them because today proves another thing: the only fresh start we need, the only fresh start that will work, is a general election.

“An election that will offer the people of Scotland the chance and the choice of an independent future.

The National: Starmer dubbed Johnson a "vengeful squatter"Starmer dubbed Johnson a "vengeful squatter"

“The need to put an end to this Tory Government is underlined by the terrifying spectacle of the leadership race that is under way throughout this building. Because no sooner had the race begun, and it became very clear that it wasn’t just a race to get into Downing Street, it was a race to the toxic right.”

Starmer also attacked Johnson’s claims on his government’s record.

The Labour leader said the PM had been forced out “in disgrace”, adding: “Judged by his colleagues and peers to be unworthy of his position, and unfit for his office.

“He promoted someone he knew to be a sexual predator… and then denied all knowledge when that inevitably went wrong. He lied to his ministers about what he knew, and allowed them to repeat those lies to the country.

“It’s the same pattern of behaviour that we saw when he and his mates partied through lockdown. Denied it for months, and forced his ministers to repeat those lies until he was found out.”

The motion of confidence in the UK government passed with 349 votes in favour and 238 against.