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Nearly 30 Tory MPs have now called for Boris Johnson to go, or publicly moved to trigger a confidence vote over his leadership, as he seeks to weather the fallout from the partygate scandal.
The Prime Minister was fined once by police investigating Covid rule-busting events at the heart of Government, for attending a gathering in Downing Street on his 56th birthday.
Mr Johnson, his wife Carrie and the Chancellor all apologised in April after the Metropolitan Police handed them fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for the party in the Cabinet Room on June 19 2020.
The PM is under increasing pressure from Tory colleagues to consider his position in the wake of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s pivotal partygate report, which cited “failures of leadership and judgment in No 10 and the Cabinet Office”.
A total of 28 Conservative MPs have so far said Mr Johnson should go, with 18 so far confirming publicly they have written to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, calling for a confidence vote.
Under Conservative Party rules, there must be a vote on the Prime Minister’s future if 54 MPs write Sir Graham, saying they have lost confidence in their leader.
The total number of letters which have been sent to the committee is also kept secret, meaning it is unclear how many the chairman has received.
– Craig Whittaker
The Calder Valley MP said during a Facebook Q&A on April 13 that he felt both Mr Johnson and Rishi Sunak should step down.
According to the Halifax Courier, Mr Whittaker said: “I not only think that the Prime Minister should resign but I also think that Rishi Sunak should resign as well.”
The MP said he would not be submitting a letter to the 1922 Committee of backbench Tories, saying he expected the Prime Minister would win the vote which would detract from the Government’s “day-to-day” business.
– Caroline Nokes
The former immigration minister told ITV’s Peston programme on January 12: “Regretfully, he looks like a liability and I think he either goes now or he goes in three years’ time at a general election.”
In an opinion piece in The Guardian in April, she stated that she had submitted a letter of no confidence to Sir Graham.
– Anthony Mangnall
The Totnes MP, who entered Parliament in 2019, criticised Mr Johnson’s “actions and mistruths” in a social media post, as he confirmed he had joined colleagues in calling for a confidence vote.
He tweeted on February 2: “Standards in public life matter. At this time I can no longer support the PM. I have submitted a letter of no confidence.”
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.
I have submitted a letter of no confidence.
— Anthony Mangnall MP (@AnthonyMangnal1) February 2, 2022
– Nigel Mills
The Amber Valley MP said Mr Johnson should leave his post on April 13.
Asked if he thought the PM’s position was untenable, he told the PA news agency: “Yeah, I think for a prime minister in office to be given a fine and accept it and pay it for breaking the laws that he introduced… is just an impossible position.”
It is unclear if he has submitted a letter to Sir Graham.
– Tobias Ellwood
The chairman of the Commons Defence Committee said the Prime Minister had lost his support, and urged him to “call a vote of confidence rather than waiting for the inevitable 54 letters to be eventually submitted”.
Telling Sky News it was “horrible” for MPs to have to defend partygate, he confirmed on February 2 that he would be presenting his letter to the 1922 Committee.
– Sir Gary Streeter
In a statement on his website on February 2, Sir Gary said he had submitted a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister.
The South West Devon MP said: “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.”
– Peter Aldous
Confirming he had sent a letter to Sir Graham, the Waveney MP tweeted on February 1: “After a great deal of soul-searching, I have reached the conclusion that the Prime Minister should resign.”
Mr Aldous said he had “never taken such action before” but he believed it was “in the best interests of the country” for a change at the top.
After a great deal of soul-searching, I have reached the conclusion that the Prime Minister should resign. (1/3)
— Peter Aldous (@peter_aldous) February 1, 2022
– Mark Harper
Former Tory chief whip Mark Harper confirmed in a tweet on April 19 that he had written to Sir Graham calling for a confidence vote.
In his letter, the MP for Forest of Dean said that as Mr Johnson had received a FPN, he had concluded that he was unable to deliver the “principled leadership” the country needed.
— Mark Harper (@Mark_J_Harper) April 19, 2022
– David Davis
The former Brexit secretary confronted Mr Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions on January 19, telling his party leader: “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. In the name of God, go.”
It is unclear if he has submitted a letter to the committee.
– Steve Baker
Tory former minister Steve Baker said he had been tempted to “forgive” the Prime Minister for breaking Covid lockdown rules but conceded that possibility for him was now “gone”.
He told MPs on April 21: “The Prime Minister now should be long gone…the Prime Minister should just know the gig’s up.”
It is not known if Mr Baker has written to Sir Graham.
– William Wragg
The chairman of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme in January that Mr Johnson’s position had become “untenable”.
On April 21, he told MPs it was the aftermath of former Government press spokeswoman Allegra Stratton’s resignation which led him to submit a no-confidence letter.
– Tim Loughton
The former children’s minister told constituents in a Facebook post on January 15 that he had “regretfully come to the conclusion that Boris Johnson’s position is now untenable”.
It is unclear whether he has submitted a letter to Sir Graham.
– Andrew Mitchell
In an intervention after Mr Johnson’s statement to the House of Commons in the wake of the update on the Gray inquiry on January 31, the former Cabinet minister told the No 10 incumbent he “no longer enjoys my support”.
It is not known if the Sutton Coldfield MP has written to the 1922 Committee chairman.
– Nick Gibb
Writing in The Telegraph in February, Mr Gibb, the MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, said his constituents were “furious about the double standards” and the Prime Minister had been “inaccurate” in statements to the Commons.
The newspaper reported that the former education minister had submitted a letter of no confidence.
Mr Gibb added: “To restore trust, we need to change the Prime Minister.”
– Sir Roger Gale
The veteran politician said the Conservative Party leader was a “dead man walking” politically after Mr Johnson apologised in January for attending a “bring your own booze” gathering in the garden of No 10 during England’s first lockdown.
The North Thanet MP said he had submitted a letter of no confidence after the details of the Barnard Castle trip made by Mr Johnson’s former senior aide Dominic Cummings emerged in 2020.
– Steve Brine
Former health minister Steve Brine posted a statement on his website on May 25, saying that he “cannot and will not defend the indefensible”, and that “rule makers cannot be law-breakers”.
The MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford also said he had submitted his letter to Sir Graham.
– Aaron Bell
The 2019 Red Wall MP declared publicly on February 4 that he had submitted a letter calling for a confidence vote.
In a statement, he said: “The breach of trust that events in No 10 Downing Street represent, and the manner in which they have been handled, makes his position untenable.”
In an emotional question in the Commons following publication of Ms Gray’s report into lockdown parties, Mr Bell asked Mr Johnson if he thought he was a “fool” for following Covid restrictions at his grandmother’s funeral.
I have submitted a letter to Sir Graham Brady.
Please see the statement attached explaining my reasons.
I will not be commenting further at this time. pic.twitter.com/O9RUr3JSRE
— Aaron Bell MP (@AaronBell4NUL) February 4, 2022
– Julian Sturdy
The Conservative MP for York Outer called for the PM to resign in the hours after Ms Gray’s report was published on May 25.
In a statement on Twitter, Mr Sturdy said the report “clearly shows the Prime Minister has presided over a widespread culture of disregard for the coronavirus regulations”.
He added: “While I thought it important to wait for the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police investigation and the publication of the Sue Gray report, I am now unable to give the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt and feel it is in the public interest for him to resign.”
He has not publicly confirmed if he has submitted a letter.
🗣STATEMENT ON SUE GRAY REPORT
Following the publication of the full Sue Gray report, I feel it is now in the public interest for the Prime Minister to resign. pic.twitter.com/oXfkb7KmrS
— Julian Sturdy MP (@JulianSturdy) May 25, 2022
– Stephen Hammond
Former minister Stephen Hammond indicated he had sent a letter of no confidence in Mr Johnson to the 1922 Committee on May 26.
The Wimbledon MP said he “cannot and will not defend the indefensible”.
Mr Hammond said he had been “critical of the Prime Minister’s behaviour and the culture that existed in No 10”.
“All I can do as a backbencher is speak out and submit a letter,” he said, adding: “I have said for several months I already have done all I can as a backbencher.”
– David Simmonds
The MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner joined those urging for the PM’s resignation on May 26.
He said: “It is time for him to step down so that new leadership can take forward the important work of the Government in ensuring that our people and country prosper.”
He did not confirm if he had submitted a letter to Sir Graham.
– Anne Marie Morris
The Newton Abbot MP confirmed she was among the letter writers in May.
– John Baron
The Basildon and Billericay MP said on May 26 that “the Prime Minister no longer enjoys my support – I can no longer give him the benefit of the doubt”.
He has not stated if he has submitted a letter to the committee.
– Sir Bob Neill
The Conservative chairman of the Commons Justice Committee said he had submitted a letter of no confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership following the publication of Ms Gray’s report.
Sir Bob, the MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, said on May 27: “Trust is the most important commodity in politics, but these events have undermined trust in not just the office of the Prime Minister, but in the political process itself.
“To rebuild that trust and move on, a change in leadership is required.”
– Alicia Kearns
The MP for Rutland and Melton, a member of the 2019 intake, accused the No 10 incumbent of “misleading” Parliament with reassurances that coronavirus laws were upheld.
She said on May 27 that her position remained unchanged since January, when she submitted her letter of no confidence.
– Jeremy Wright
Former attorney general Jeremy Wright called for Mr Johnson to quit on May 30.
In a statement on his website, he said he “cannot be sure that the Prime Minister knowingly misled the House of Commons”, but added partygate had cased “real and lasting damage to the reputation not just of this Government but to the institutions and authority of Government more generally”.
He said: “For the good of this and future Governments, the Prime Minister should resign.”
It is not clear whether he has submitted a letter to Sir Graham.
– Elliot Colburn
A spokesman for Carshalton and Wallington MP Elliot Colburn, who was elected in 2019, confirmed on May 30 that he had called for a confidence vote.
Mr Colburn told his constituents he had handed in his letter, the spokesman said.
– John Stevenson
The MP for Carlisle said on May 31 that he had moved to trigger a confidence vote over Mr Johnson’s leadership.
In a statement posted on social media, Mr Stevenson said he had recently called on the Prime Minister to put himself forward for a ballot to “draw a line” under recent controversies.
“Sadly, the Prime Minister appears unwilling to bring matters to a head and submit himself to such a vote,” he said.
“Therefore, the only option is for the Conservative MPs to facilitate a vote of confidence. I have already take the appropriate action.”
– Andrew Bridgen
The Brexiteer wrote in an article for the Telegraph on January 13 that Mr Johnson presided over a “moral vacuum at the heart of our Government” and called for him to “go now with some semblance of grace”.
The MP for North West Leicestershire said it was “with a heavy heart” that he had submitted a letter of no confidence.
He withdrew it in March, arguing it was not appropriate to stage a confidence vote amid the fighting in Ukraine, but confirmed on May 30 that he had resubmitted it in email to constituents.