Tory MPs welcome Johnson’s resignation and call for ‘fresh start’

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Frank Augstein/PA) (PA Wire)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Frank Augstein/PA) (PA Wire)

Conservative MPs have welcomed the Prime Minister’s resignation, calling for a “clean start” with a new leader.

Several on the backbenches, as well as Cabinet member Liz Truss, have said it was right for Boris Johnson to step down as Prime Minister after he admitted he had failed to persuade his own ministers he could fight on.

Ms Truss, who has cut short an official trip to Indonesia and has previously made little secret of her leadership ambitions, said “calmness and unity” is needed while a new person is chosen for the top job.

She tweeted: “The PM has made the right decision. The Government under Boris’s leadership had many achievements – delivering Brexit, vaccines and backing Ukraine.

“We need calmness and unity now and to keep governing while a new leader is found.”

Senior Tory Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, and is also regarded as a potential leadership candidate, although with an outside chance, tweeted: “Right call by Boris Johnson to resign. Delivered Brexit, rolled out the vaccine and led on Ukraine.

“Now we need a clean start.”

Foreign Office minister Amanda Milling said Mr Johnson had enjoyed her support “from the start”, but he was right to resign “as the damage to our party and country was getting too much”.

“We now need to work together and ensure that there is some stability during this transition period,” she added.

Salisbury MP John Glen, who resigned as a minister of state at the Treasury on Wednesday in protest at Mr Johnson’s conduct and standards, paid tribute to his leadership but welcomed a “fresh start and new direction for the country”.

Jo Gideon, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central who had submitted a new letter to 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady, said Mr Johnson’s exit had been “sad and painful”.

In a statement shared on social media, she said the Tories must now come together “for the sake of the country”, and find a way to move forward while a new leader is sought.

“I’m glad the Prime Minister has done the right thing and resigned. The swathe of resignations of government ministers demonstrated that senior colleagues acknowledge the need for new leadership,” she said.

“As a One Nation Conservative I will be supporting a leader who continues to deliver our commitment to level up the UK, and who does so with the integrity and strong leadership that we need in these difficult times.”

Former Johnson loyalist Jonathan Gullis also said the Prime Minister’s resignation speech was “painful to watch, but it’s the right thing that he’s gone”.

The Stoke-on-Trent North MP, who quit as parliamentary private secretary at the Northern Ireland Office on Tuesday, told Sky News that he “had not regretted” deciding to withdraw his support for Mr Johnson, even as he watched him speak in Downing Street.

Government whip Amanda Solloway, the MP for Derby North, said: “The Prime Minister has now resigned and in my view this was the right thing to do given the circumstances.

“As some may know, I am a Government whip and it is imperative that the whips’ office will continue in its role in delivering Government business during this transition.”

Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely said the Tories need “a renewed agenda, a new team, and a new PM”.

“I’m looking forward to that day,” he added.

Assistant Government whip Steve Double, the MP for St Austell and Newquay, said it had been a “very challenging week” in Parliament, and the process to find a new leader should be completed as soon as possible.

Former minister Graham Stuart said he was sorry to see the Prime Minister resign, but he had “done the right thing”.

“He can be proud of what he has achieved during the last three years,” he said.

“I will support the next leader of the Conservative Party in their work to ensure that Britain continues to thrive.”

This was echoed by Warrington South MP Andy Carter, who said Mr Johnson was right to resign, as it was “in the nation’s best interests”.

Gareth Bacon, the MP for Orpington, said: “The Prime Minister has much to be proud of; he got Brexit done, delivered the vaccine, and stood up to Putin. I’m sorry to see him go. But he’s right to stand down.

“The Conservative Party must now unite under a new leader and get back to governing.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting