'Back Boris!' – Cabinet Ministers Issue Gushing Plea To Save PM As Tories Call For Him To Resign

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Gove, Patel and Dorries have all spoken out to support the PM (Photo: HuffPost UK)
Gove, Patel and Dorries have all spoken out to support the PM (Photo: HuffPost UK)

Cabinet ministers are circling the wagons around Boris Johnson as Tory MPs go on the record calling for his resignation over the lockdown party scandal.

Priti Patel issued a gushing plea to her colleagues to rally round and “back Boris” after he was accused of lying about parties in Downing Street during covid restrictions.

“The prime minister has given his heartfelt apologies and taken responsibility for what has happened,” she told the Tory MPs’ WhatsApp group.

Citing Johnson’s majority in the commons and NHS reforms, she added: “Now is the time to put our shoulders to the wheel and back Boris to deliver on the people’s priories.”

Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab has even gone on the airwaves this afternoon, claiming that Johnson had given a “very clear account” of the events of May 20 2020.

It comes after Labour leader Keir Starmer tore into Johnson during prime minister’s questions, telling him to do the “decent thing and resign” and that the public knew he was “lying through his teeth”.

Raab told the BBC Johnson had been “clear” he was acting in accordance with the rules “at the time”

The justice secretary said it was a “daft question” when asked whether he personally would run again for the Tory leadership.

“I’m fully supportive of this prime minister and I’m sure he will continue for many years to come.”

Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons today. (Photo: House of Commons - PA Images via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons today. (Photo: House of Commons - PA Images via Getty Images)

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries said Johnson was “right to personally apologise” and an inquiry should now be allowed to do its work and establish “what happened”.

Communities secretary Michael Gove chipped in: “Nadine is right.”

Meanwhile, Sajid Javid admitted he “completely” understood why people felt “let down”.

He too felt the PM had done the “right thing” by apologising and stressed we must let the investigation complete its work.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, seen as a potential Tory leader, as in north Devon when the PM mad his statement to the commons at midday. He eventually took to Twitter at 8.11pm and said the PM was “right to apologise”.

Sunak wrote: “I’ve been on a visit all day today continuing work on our #PlanForJobs as well as meeting MPs to discuss the energy situation.

“The PM was right to apologise and I support his request for patience while Sue Gray carries out her inquiry.”

At around 9.15pm, foreign secretary Liz Truss, another thought to covet the top job, said: “I stand behind the prime minister 100% as he takes our country forward.”

Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told Times Radio: “I think the prime minister has got things right again and again and again.

“But like us all, he accepts that during a two-and-a-half-year period, there will be things that with hindsight would have been done differently.”

He dismissed opinion polls suggesting Boris Johnson should resign, said Tory MPs who have called for the PM to go were “people who are always unhappy”.

In an ominous sign for the prime minister a number of Conservative MPs have publicly called for him to go.

Johnson apologised in the commons today, but defended his actions by saying he believed the bash was a “work event” permitted under the rules.

The PM had been under intense pressure to divulge whether or not he attended the party in the No10 garden on May 20, 2020.

Johnson has ordered an inquiry by senior civil servant Sue Gray who is looking into multiple claims of social gatherings in government during covid restrictions.

Despite huge public and press interest, the PM, his ministers and official spokesman had previously refused to go into details while Gray’s investigation is ongoing.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.


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