Politics

All the Tory MPs calling for Boris Johnson to resign over Downing Street parties



A growing number of Tories have openly called for Boris Johnson to quit over the Downing Street partygate row.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, ex-Cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell and senior Tories Sir Roger Gale, William Wragg and Tim Loughton are among those who have said it’s time for a new leader.

It is a small number – especially given 54 MPs need to send “no confidence” letters to the Tory 1922 Committee to trigger a leadership challenge.

But many more MPs are privately concerned – with speculation that dozens may have submitted letters already.

The Prime Minister is fighting to save his battered premiership after top civil servant Sue Gray blasted “failures of leadership and judgement” in Downing Street in an update on her inquiry into lockdown parties.







Boris Johnson is under fire over allegations of lockdown-flouting parties
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Police have received 500 pages of evidence and 300 photos for their probe into 12 alleged events in Downing Street and Whitehall – including several the PM is believed to have personally attended.

Mr Johnson has mounted a charm offensive to win back his wavering MPs, with a policy blitz and a promise of an overhaul of Downing Street.

But unrest on his own benches isn’t going away. Here’s a round-up of what the critics have been saying.

Tory MPs who’ve called on Boris Johnson to quit

Andrew Bridgen

The former loyal supporter wrote in the Telegraph: “I’m calling on the Prime Minister to stand down, there is time yet to do the right thing.

“In years to come, Boris will be remembered as delivering Brexit and guiding us through a pandemic.

“His legacy shouldn’t become one mired in sleaze but rather one of knowing when the time is right to leave the stage.

“If Boris truly loves our country, our democracy and our party he should go now with some semblance of grace.”






Andrew Brigden submitted his no confidence letter last month

Sir Roger Gale

The veteran backbencher – who has never been a big fan – described the Prime Minister as a “dead man walking”.

He told LBC’s Shelagh Fogarty: “I think it’s serious. I think it’s very serious indeed.

“And I frankly think that he’s done a good job delivering certain things.

“But I think we’ve now got to the stage where frankly we have to find another leader.”







Sir Roger Gale has been a longstanding critic of Boris Johnson
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Tim Loughton

The former children’s minister said Mr Johnson’s position had become “untenable” and that his “resignation is the only way to bring this whole unfortunate episode to an end”.

He said: “Frankly the issue for me is not how many sausage rolls or glasses of prosecco the Prime Minister actually consumed.

“The reason for my conclusion in calling for him to stand down is the way that he has handled the mounting revelations in the last few weeks.

“Obfuscation, prevarication and evasion have been the order of the day when clarity, honesty and contrition was what was needed and what the British people deserve.”







Tim Loughton said Mr Johnson’s position had become “untenable”
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Caroline Nokes

The Romsey and Southampton North MP told Peston: “There are a lot of MPs in Parliament who owe their seats to him.

“There are also MPs like me that recognise that when it came to winning that election in 2019, he did a fantastic job but now, regretfully, he looks like a liability.

“He is damaging the entire Conservative brand.”

Douglas Ross

Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Douglas Ross – never a close ally – led calls for the Prime Minister to stand down.

He told the BBC : “I don’t think his position as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party is tenable and he does need to resign.”

Johnson supporter and Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg told Newsnight in response: “Douglas Ross has always been quite a lightweight figure.”







‘A toast to your good health, Prime Minister’
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William Wragg

Hazel Grove MP William Wragg is also Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee.

The main defence currently employed by the PM and MPs is to wait until the findings of Sue Gray’s inquiry.

But Mr Wragg told the BBC: “I don’t think it should be left to the findings of a civil servant to determine the future of the Prime Minister and, indeed, who governs this country.”

He added: “The Prime Minister’s position is untenable.”







Boris Johnson and MP William Wragg, who said it shouldn’t be left to Sue Gray’s inquiry to determine the future of the PM
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Andrew Mitchell

Former Cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell announced he was withdrawing his support from the PM in a brutal Commons takedown.

The Sutton Coldfield MP said he was “deeply concerned” by Sue Gray’s findings during a debate after the publication of her interim findings.

He said he had previously given Mr Johnson his “full-throated support” but added: “But I am deeply concerned by these events and very concerned indeed by some of the things he has said from that despatch box and has said to the British public and our constituents.

“When he kindly invited me to see him 10 days ago, I told him that I thought he should think very carefully about what was now in the best interests of our country and of the Conservative Party, and I have to tell him he no longer enjoys my support.”

David Davis

Ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis denounced Mr Johnson in the Commons in January, telling the PM: “In the name of God, go.”

In a dramatic PMQs intervention, he said: “I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take.

“Yesterday he did the opposite of that. So, I will remind him of a quotation which may be familiar to his ear: Leopold Amery to Neville Chamberlain.

“‘You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. In the name of God, go.'”

Mr Davis has threatened to submit a letter of no confidence in Mr Johnson but he is not understood to have done so yet.







Ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis called on Boris Johnson to quit
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Tobias Ellwood

Chairman of the Defence Committee Tobias Ellwood said the Prime Minister failed to understand how worried Tories were and how fed up they have become of defending the Government over partygate.

Mr Ellwood, a former minister, told Sky news: “I believe it’s time for the Prime Minister to take a grip of this; he himself should call a vote of confidence rather than waiting for the inevitable 54 letters to be eventually submitted.

“It’s time to resolve this completely so the party can get back to governing, and, yes, I know the next question you will ask, I will be submitting my letter today to the 1922 Committee.”

Charles Walker

Former 1922 Committee vice chairman Charles Walker became the latest senior figure to call on the Prime Minister to consider his position.

He told Channel 4 News: “I would applaud him for doing that, but that is his decision.”

Later he told The Observer: “It is an inevitable tragedy. He is a student of Greek and Roman tragedy. It is going to end in him going, so I just want him to have some agency in that.”







Tory Charles Walker said Boris Johnson should stand down
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Aaron Bell

Newscastle-under-Lyme MP Aaron Bell also challenged the PM in the Commons.

He said he obeyed Covid restrictions to attend his grandmother’s May 2020 funeral before asking: “Does the Prime Minister think I’m a fool?”

He is said to have submitted a no confidence letter and recently tweeted: “It is no secret at Westminster that I have been unhappy about many aspects of the Number 10 operation.

“I have been quite open with the whips and earlier this week I spoke plainly to the Prime Minister about my concerns.”

Peter Aldous

Suffolk MP Peter Aldous also broke ranks, urging the PM to go “in the best interests of the country” after a “great deal of soul-searching”.

Mr Aldous revealed he had sent a letter of no confidence to the 1922 Committee.

The Waveney MP tweeted: “I have never taken such action before and had hoped that I would not be put in such an invidious position.

“Whilst I am conscious that others will disagree with me, I believe that this is in the best interests of the country, the Government and the Conservative Party.”

Anthony Mangnall

MP for Totnes and South Devon Anthony Mangnall has become the latest MP to submit a letter of no confidence to the 1922 Committee.

Mr Mangnall Mr Johnson’s actions are “overshadowing” good work elsewhere.

He said in a tweet: “Standards in public life matter.

“At this time I can no longer support the PM.

“His actions and mistruths are overshadowing the extraordinary work of so many excellent ministers and colleagues.”







Tory MP Anthony Mangnall
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Gary Streeter

Veteran backbencher Sir Gary Streeter has been vocally critical of the PM in the wake of partygate.

The South West Devon MP confirmed he sent his letter of no confidence in a Facebook post.

“I cannot reconcile the pain and sacrifice of the vast majority of the British public during lockdown with the attitude and activities of those working in Downing Street,” Sir Gary wrote.

Tory MPs who have lost the whip

Anne Marie Morris

The MP revealed she has been privately pushing for the PM’s resignation since before Christmas.

But her letter does not currently count towards the 54 total, because she lost the whip for voting to cut VAT on energy bills.

She said: “I t appears now that there is clear evidence that a breach of the rules took place and the appropriate consequences for those involved, whatever position they hold, such be substantial.

“Government should be setting an example, not breaking the rules they imposed on society…

“Given my increasing displeasure with the ongoing events in the latter part of 2021, I submitted a letter of no confidence to Sir Graham Brady before Christmas.”

She added: “Fundamentally, the country needs strong leadership and a clear direction to get back on its feet post-pandemic and take advantage of the opportunities to create a more prosperous society.”

Christian Wakeford

The Bury South MP stuck his head above the parapet by revealing that he had recently submitted a letter of no-confidence in the PM to the 1922 Committee.

Mr Wakeford told Yahoo News UK there are other MP’s who “have written the letters but haven’t sent them in yet”.







Tory Christian Wakeford defected to Labour
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The Red Wall MP said there was discontent among other Tories from the 2019 intake, in a major blow to the Prime Minister.

A group of the new intake are understood to have held a meeting, dubbed the ‘pork pie plot’ as one of the Tories said to be involved was the MP for Melton.

He sensationally defected to the Labour party just before PMQs.

Tory local politicians who’ve voiced their anger

Local vote calling on PM to quit

The Birmingham Post and Mail’s Jon Walker revealed officers of Sutton Coldfield Conservative association unanimously (10-0) passed a motion calling for Boris Johnson to stand down.

It previously backed Mr Johnson for the leadership.

‘I’m utterly dismayed and incredibly angry’

Hugo Brown, chairman of North Oxfordshire Conservative Association, wrote an e-mail to members saying he was “utterly dismayed and incredibly angry”.

The e-mail, handed to the Mirror, said: “I suspect most of you will feel the same.

“This is not the sort of behaviour the country or the party expects from a Prime Minister”.

He went on: “We have been badly let down. We have to expect better days on the horizon.”

‘Faith has been shaken’

Tory police commissioner for Cheshire John Dwyer said: “I am under no illusion about how [people] feel after seeing the same news reports as I have in recent days.

“I cannot condone any breaches of legislation that was specifically put in place to protect our health during a global pandemic.

“People’s faith in the system relies on trust, consent and good will. That faith has undoubtedly been shaken.”

Peter McCall, the Conservative PCC for Cumbria, warned the PM was “in a very, very difficult position.”

‘He should decide if he should go’

Nadeem Ahmed, leader of Tory-run Pendle Council, said: “I think it’s really a decision for the Prime Minister to make, whether he feels he should be in that position any longer.

“I think in public office you live with your own conscience and you should be doing the right thing.

“When you think you have done something or said something untenable, you know yourself whether you should be in that position.”

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