Boris Johnson's anti-corruption tsar resigns over partygate and will vote for PM to go

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The prime minister's anti-corruption tsar has resigned over Boris Johnson's response to the Sue Gray report into partygate - and will vote for him to go tonight.

John Penrose sent his resignation letter to the PM just hours after it was announced a confidence vote in Mr Johnson's leadership will take place between 6pm and 8pm today.

The MP for Weston-super-Mare has been the UK's anti-corruption champion at the Home Office since 2017 but said he could no longer be in his post as Mr Johnson had not addressed the "failures of leadership and judgment" Ms Gray said had taken place over lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street.

Rees-Mogg says Johnson stays even if he wins by only one vote - Politics Hub

He said Mr Johnson has therefore breached "a fundamental principle of the Ministerial Code - a clear resigning matter" but said the PM's letter to Lord Geidt, the PM's independent adviser on the code, "ignores this absolutely central, non-negotiable issue completely".

Mr Penrose confirmed to Sky News he will be voting against the PM this evening and said this is "the beginning of the end".

"I think it's over [for the PM], it feels like it's when not if," he told Sky News.

"He could get a thumping victory this evening but it feels like the beginning of the end."

Mr Penrose earlier tweeted: "I'm sorry to have to resign as the PM's anti-corruption tsar but, after his reply last week about the ministerial code, it's pretty clear he has broken it.

"That's a resigning matter for me, and it should be for the PM too."

In his letter, he said he would "always be grateful" to the PM for "getting Brexit done", for the 2019 election victory and for getting the UK out of COVID lockdown.

"But I hope you will understand that none of these can excuse or justify a fundamental breach of the Ministerial Code," he wrote.

Mr Penrose is an influential MP and is married to Conservative peer and businesswoman Dido Harding, who ran the UK's COVID test and trace programme.

Read more: Who could replace the PM?

His call for Mr Johnson to go came after another senior MP, former Treasury minister Jesse Norman revealed in a damning letter he had submitted a no confidence letter in the PM and will vote against him this evening.

Mr Norman's wife is Kate Bingham, who was responsible for the successful rollout of the COVID vaccine, which Mr Johnson continually mentions as an example of positive decisions he has made.

Other Conservative MPs who have revealed they will vote to oust the PM include former health and culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, Guildford MP Angela Richardson and former transport minister and ex-vice chair of the Conservative Party Andrew Jones.

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