Tory MP Mark Harper calls for Boris Johnson to step down live in Commons

The MP for Forest of Dean has submitted a vote of no confidence to Sir Graham Brady

Published

22Conservative MP Mark Harper has called for Boris Johnson to step down as Prime Minister during his partygate apology speech.

The MP for Forest of Dean and former chief whip said: "I regret to say that we have a Prime Minister who broke the laws that he told the country they had to follow, hasn’t been straightforward about it.

"And [he] is now going to ask the decent men and women on these benches to defend what I think is indefensible.

"’I'm very sorry to have to say this, but I no longer think he is worthy of the great office that he holds.”

Mark Harper
Mark Harper
Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

Mr Harper tweeted a letter to the chair of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservatives stating that he no longer has confidence in Boris Johnson to be Prime Minister.

Responding to Conservative former chief whip Mark Harper, Mr Johnson said: “I must say to (him), I know the care and the sincerity with which he weighs his words and I bitterly regret what has happened.

“I bitterly regret the event in Downing Street as I have said, but I do believe that it is the job of this Government to get on with the priorities of the British people and that is what we’re going to do.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs: “Let me begin in all humility by saying that on April 12 I received a fixed penalty notice relating to an event in Downing Street on June 19 2020.

“I paid the fine immediately and I offered the British people a full apology, and I take this opportunity on the first available sitting day to repeat my wholehearted apology to the House.”

Shouts of “resign” could be heard in the Commons.

Mr Johnson also said: “As soon as I received the notice, I acknowledged the hurt and anger and I said that people had a right to expect better of their Prime Minister – and I repeat that, Mr Speaker, again in the House now.

“Let me also say, not by way of mitigation or excuse but purely because it explains my previous words in this House, that it did not occur to me then or subsequently that a gathering in the Cabinet Room just before a vital meeting on Covid strategy could amount to a breach of the rules.

“I repeat that was my mistake and I apologise for it unreservedly.

“I respect the outcome of the police investigation, which is still under way, and I can only say that I will respect their decision-making and always take the appropriate steps.”

Mr Johnson said he has taken “significant steps” to change the way things work in No 10.