Who are the Tory politicians calling for Boris Johnson to resign?

Kate Plummer
Friday 14 January 2022 13:04
news

Boris Johnson is facing increased pressure to resign after he admitted he attended a Downing Street garden party in May 2020 while the country faced strict lockdown rules.

The prime minister apologised in the House of Commons after a leaked email revealed his permanent private secretary Martin Reynolds sent an email inviting some 100 staff to a BYOB drinks event, but said he only stayed for a short while and believed it was “a work event”.

While ministers and members of the party have stuck to Johnson’s line that people must wait for the busy Sue Gray to finish her inquiry into the matter before any further action is taken, a few Tory MPs have publically broken ranks to denounce the PM’s actions and call for him to pack his bags.

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Here’s a list of the MPs who have called on the prime minister to resign so far:

Douglas Ross

The leader of the Scottish Conservative party - not that that seems to mean much to Jacob Rees-Mogg - called for Johnson to resign after he apologised for attending the party.

He told reporters: “I said yesterday if the prime minister attended this gathering, party, event in Downing Street on May 20 then he could not continue as prime minister. So regretfully I have to say his position is no longer tenable.”

He added that Johnson’s apology implies “acceptance from the prime minister that it was wrong and therefore, I don’t want to be in this position, but I am in this position now, where I don’t think he can continue as leader of the Conservatives”.

William Wragg

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, the Hazel Grove MP, who is chairman of the Public Affairs and Constitutional Affairs Committee also called on the PM to resign.

He said: “The Prime Minister’s position is untenable and I don’t believe 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 said he felt for his colleagues who are “frankly, worn out of defending what is invariably indefensible.”

Caroline Nokes

Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee and former minister Nokes told ITV’s Peston that Johnson was “damaging” for the party.

She said:

“He looks like a liability and I think he either goes now, or he goes in three years’ time at a general election. And it’s up to the party to decide which way around that’s going to be.

“I know my thoughts are that he’s damaging us now, he’s damaging the entire Conservative brand with an unwillingness to accept the strictures that other people have lived by.”

Asked if she felt it was better for the sake of their party if Mr Johnson goes now, Nokes said: “Absolutely.”

Sir Roger Gale

Gale told ITV News that the prime minister should either resign “with dignity” or backbench Tories will be forced to remove him with letters of no confidence.

He said “a red line” had been crossed.

Andrew Bridgen

Bridgen has recently become the fifth Tory MP to tell his leader to leave. On Thursday evening, the MP for North West Leicestershire announced he had submitted a letter of no confidence in Johnson via an op-ed in the Telegraph.

He said the PM’s position was “untenable” and that there was “a moral vacuum at the heart of our government”.

What would it take for Johnson to go?

If a substantial number of his MPs turn against him, Johnson is in trouble. The Telegraph reported that as many as 30 letters of no confidence have been submitted so far. A total of 54 are needed to trigger a vote.

If there was a vote, more than 50 per cent of the party would have to vote against the leader for him to be ousted.

Or Johnson could resign, as these five MPs have said he should.

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