30 May 2022 | NEWS
Pressure is continuing to mount on the Prime Minister today as the fallout from the Partygate scandal remains ongoing.
Boris Johnson is losing support from his backbench MPs, following the fixed penalty notices handed to senior Ministers, including the Prime Minister, by the police, The subsequent release of the Sue Gray report also revealed the extent of the misdemeanours occurring in Downing Street during the Covid lockdowns, although most of those involved were Civil Servants.
Some members of the Parliamentary Conservative Party who are renouncing their confidence in the Prime Minister’s leadership include senior and long-standing MPs within the party. Currently, it is publicly known that 26 MPs have sent letters of no confidence to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. However, the actual number of letters sent in is known only to only Sir Brady himself, and Westminster sources suspect it to be around 40 at present.
The 1922 Committee is made up of backbench Conservative MPs in the House of Commons. In order to trigger a leadership vote, 15% of the Parliamentary Conservative Party must submit letter to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, which means 54. Ten Tory MPs are believed to have sent in letters calling for a leadership contest since the Sue Gray report into ‘Partygate’ was officially released last week.
Among the Tory MPs who have sent letters in to Sir Graham Brady is the former Attorney General who served in the Theresa May administration, Jeremy Wright QC. Mr Wright became the twenty-fifth MP to send in a letter of no confidence, followed by Elliot Colburn who announced that he had sent a letter in later on Monday.
He is also a Conservative member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
Mr Wright said in a statement on his website that Mr Johnson should resign following the Prime Minister’s transgression during the lockdown periods. He said:
“Accountability and restoring faith in good government require something more, both to safeguard future public compliance with Government instructions when it counts, and to allow the present Government to deliver the important legislation it has introduced, including vital changes to social care funding, energy security and online regulation. It now seems to me that the Prime Minister remaining in office will hinder those crucial objectives. I have therefore, with regret, concluded that, for the good of this and future governments, the Prime Minister should resign.”
The calls from Conservative MPs for the Prime Minister to resign come amidst rule changes to the Ministerial Code, amending this to state that Ministers who break “minor” rules will not be expected to resign.
The changes to the Ministerial Code were proposed by an advisory body called the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Rather than resigning from their positions, Ministers will instead be expected to make a “public apology” or face “remedial action, or removal of Ministerial salary for a period”.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner reacted to the proposed changes to the Ministerial Code by saying that the PM had removed “all references to integrity, objectivity, accountability, transparency, honesty and leadership in the public interest”.