The government has tabled a no-confidence motion in itself after blocking Labour’s bid to remove Boris Johnson from office immediately.

Labour’s request was for a confidence motion in the government and the prime minister and could have triggered a snap general election.

But the government accused the opposition of “playing politics”claiming it was not “a valuable use of parliamentary time” because the PM has already resigned.

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By tabling his own confidence motion, Mr Johnson has been able to set the wording in such a way as to make it easier for his party to vote for it.

It is thought Tory MPs are more likely to back the government’s motion as it will not constitute an endorsement of Mr Johnson.

A government spokesperson said today: “Labor were given the option to table a straightforward vote of no confidence in the government in keeping with contention, however they chose not to.

“To remedy this we are tabling a motion which gives the House the opportunity to decide if it has confidence in the government.

“The government will always allow time for appropriate House matters while ensuring that it delivers parliamentary business to help improve people’s everyday lives.”

Labor reacted with fury last night when Downing Street refused to allow parliamentary time to debate their motion, accusing the government of “running scared”.

The government’s motion was announced as the prime minister faced his first PMQs since he resigned last week.

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Boris Johnson faced Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer at PMQs for the first time since delivering his resignation speech.

During a rowdy exchange, Sir Keir Starmer described Mr Johnson as “totally deluded to the bitter end” and told MPs: “I really am going to miss this weekly nonsense from him.”

The prime minister hit back with a sarcastic tribute to the opposition leader, saying he has “never come up with an idea.”

He said: “It is possible this will be our last confrontation over this.

“So I want to thank him. I want to thank him for the style in which he’s conducted himself.

“I think it would be fair to say he’s been considerably less lethal than many other members of this House.”

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Mr Johnson also said he would leave the job with his “head held high”.

He said: “It is perfectly true that I leave not at a time of my choosing, it is absolutely true, but I am proud of the fantastic teamwork that has been involved in all of those projects both nationally and internationally, and I am also proud of the leadership that I have given.

“I will be leaving with my head held high.”

Sky News is hosting a live TV debate with the contenders vying to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and therefore prime minister, and you could be in the virtual audience.

The debate will take place on Monday 18 July hosted by Sky News presenter Kay Burley.

If you would like to be a member of the virtual audience and be in with a chance of asking a question, please email NewsDebates@sky.uk.

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