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Confidence vote in Johnson shows his days are numbered

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British prime minister Boris Johnson attends a cabinet meeting in Downing Street yesterday following his victory in Monday's confidence vote. Photo: Ian Vogler/Reuters

British prime minister Boris Johnson attends a cabinet meeting in Downing Street yesterday following his victory in Monday's confidence vote. Photo: Ian Vogler/Reuters

British prime minister Boris Johnson attends a cabinet meeting in Downing Street yesterday following his victory in Monday's confidence vote. Photo: Ian Vogler/Reuters

I voted for Boris Johnson in the 2019 Tory leadership contest. I also voted for Brexit in 2016. However, after 148 Conservative MPs voted against Mr Johnson’s continued role as leader and prime minister, his authority is severely diminished and it is difficult to see him remaining in office.

However he presents his ‘victory’, the fact is that the UK Tory Party is a ruthless brand that knifed Margaret Thatcher in 1990, Iain Duncan Smith in 2003 and Theresa May in 2019.

Alas, Boris Johnson, the Houdini of British politics, will soon discover that his treacherous ‘colleagues’ will soon call time on his services.

Dominic Shelmerdine, London

Writing was on the wall long before Pyrrhic victory

Boris Johnson’s survival as prime minister, for now, is a Pyrrhic victory. It comes after he turned a blind eye to the writing on the wall in St Paul’s Cathedral – even when it was translated into audible sound for his benefit.

Liam Power, Dundalk, Co Louth

Prime minister should fix Brexit mess before walking

It seems Boris Johnson regards the 211 to 148 vote in his favour as a huge endorsement of his prowess as leader. The rest of us might regard it as a major stumbling block.

The number against him, accounting for 41pc, is a sizeable minority. No prime minister in living memory has managed to survive more than a few months in a similar situation.

It was also notable that apart from Jacob Rees-Mogg, no other senior frontbencher went before a camera to offer support.

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Before Mr Johnson exits stage left, he should be reminded that Brexit is not done – and many of Britain’s problems can still be dealt with by begging to rejoin the single largest trading bloc in the world.

David Ryan, Co Meath

New defence measures would be weaker than a Band-Aid

Simon Coveney and Micheál Martin have been talking about increasing the numbers of members of the standing Army or the annual defence budget.

These statements are being aired in the vacuum of a positive consideration around ending Ireland’s neutrality. Whether one is in favour of an end to our neutrality stance or not – and I am not – it brings into play the naivety, or stupidity, of these two would-be political heavyweights.

In terms of the defence of our country, without being part of a military alliance, these measures are of less use than a Band-Aid. No one country can defend itself against aggression without the aid of partners in an alliance.

Either we are serious about the defence of our country or we continue to sleepwalk to oblivion and irrelevance.

The only result of our politicians’ rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic is that more funds will be taken away from relieving the continuing problems of the housing, medical and economic disasters afflicting our people.

George Dalzell, Stillorgan, Co Dublin

Key details still unknown about murdered journalist

The Irish Independent is among several newspapers that have published articles stating, as a matter of fact, that Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot by Israeli forces (‘Silence enables the targeting of journalists in conflict zones’, Irish Independent, May 31).

This is by no means certain. So long as the Palestinian Authority refuses to share the bullet that killed her, there is no physical evidence to prove the matter definitively. The New York Times has published a long editorial on the uncertainty about who was responsible and the need for an independent investigation.

However, Tess Finch-Lees, in the above-referenced comment piece from May 31, is partially correct in arguing that western media has failed to report on the eyewitness testimony of Al Jazeera producer Ali Al-Samoudi. Mr Al-Samoudi spoke of bullets raining down from “soldiers on the roof of the building opposite us”.

His colleague, Shatha Hanaysha, also described a “building with snipers”. Both appear to have assumed the snipers were Israeli, and neither initially blamed the Israeli forces who were at street level with the journalists.

There were apparently no Israeli soldiers in any of the surrounding buildings, and this part of their eyewitness testimony, which might implicate Palestinian gunmen, has been quietly shelved by Western media.

Teresa Trainor, Dublin 16


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