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Boris Johnson seeks to unite cabinet after no-confidence vote

PM urges ministers to move on and refocus on practical issues

Boris Johnson used a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to urge ministers to move on from the highly damaging no-confidence vote in which 41 per cent of Tory MPs voted to oust him and refocus on practical issues.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, addressed the cabinet on tackling NHS backlogs and improving health services.

The prime minister, meanwhile, told cabinet ministers to find further departmental savings to shift spending towards households.

Johnson’s allies believe he is also planning a ministerial reshuffle to reward those who have remained loyal to him, while punishing those who have not but Downing Street on Tuesday said that there were “no plans” for a reshuffle.

Johnson won Monday’s no-confidence vote of Tory MPs by 211 to 148 and told the cabinet the result had been “conclusive and decisive”. But he was confronted by grim newspaper headlines.

The Daily Telegraph, Johnson’s former employer, led its front page with the headline: “Hollow victory tears Tories apart” while Lord William Hague, one of his predecessors as party leader, used a column in the Times to call on the prime minister to quit. Johnson received a boost on Tuesday morning when President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine told the Financial Times Global Boardroom conference that his survival was “great news”, adding: “I am glad we have not lost a very important ally.”

The prime minister and his allies attempted to portray the result as a moment when the party could bury its differences. But the vote exposed rancour and a breakdown in Tory discipline.