Tory rebels submitting letters of no confidence listed - as pressure grows on Boris Johnson
Three new MPs have submitted letters of no confidence following the Sue Gray report being published
Conservative MPs are questioning the leadership of the Prime Minister, as Tory whips gather to discuss how to fight back if rebels trigger a vote of no confidence.
Three new rebel names have surfaced this week, with a fourth MP resubmitting a vote of no confidence letter, which he had previously withdrawn in light of the war in Ukraine.
A report in the Telegraph highlighted Conservative whips are in discussions about forming a strategy if the vote reaches 54, which would trigger the 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady to call a vote.
According to one whip, all Conservative MPs will be contacted if the threshold is reached, in order to preserve the PM's job, according to the newspaper.
Andrew Bridgen, Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire emailed his constituents on Monday to inform them that he had resubmitted his letter of no confidence, in light of "further revelations over the past week”, which saw the publication of Sue Gray's partygate report.
HIs original letter was submitted in January 2022, but he decided to withdraw it in March, adding that he believed the timing of a vote of no confidence would be inappropriate following the invasion of Ukraine.
Former attorney general Jeremy Wright, announced that the events that occured at Downing Street had caused "real and lasting damage" to the Government’s authority and that "with regret” Mr Johnson resign.
The following MPs have publicly confirmed that they have submitted a letter of no confidence to the Prime Minister:
- Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney
- Aaron Bell, MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme
- Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East
- SIr Roger Gale, MP for Thanet
- Stephen Hammond, MP for Wimbledon
- Mark Harper, MP for Forest of Dean
- Anthony Magnall, MP for Totnes
- Nigel Mills, MP for Amber Valley
- Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North
- Gary Streeter, MP for South Devon
- Sir Bob Neil, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst
- Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton
- Elliot Colburn, MP for Carshalton and Wallington
Conservative MP, Nickie Aiken, suggested Mr Johnson should submit himself to a confidence vote to end the “speculation” over his future.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, reportedly said he had made his position on the matter “clear to those who need to hear it”.
The backbench MP, who previously said he was open to running for Conservative leader, was quoted as criticising Mr Johnson, but did not appear to call for him to quit.
According to Sky News' Tom Larkin, he said: “The PM put the governance of the UK at risk to a single, severe Covid outbreak. That is to say nothing of the lack of respect it showed for the British people or the Queen.
“I have made my position clear to those who need to hear it.”
Mr Bridgen addressed hi constituents saying: "I did believe that during the initial stages of the Russia/Ukraine war that it would be wrong to have a leadership contest.
“There have, however, been further revelations over the past week and there is obviously and rightly still a lot of anger about the culture in No 10 during the lockdown period.
“I and colleagues have put in a letter of no confidence over the past few days and it may well be the numbers are close to triggering a vote of no confidence.
“This would give the parliamentary party the opportunity to register whether they believe Boris Johnson is the person to continue leading the party or not.”
Pressure on the Prime Minister has mounted after questions erupted in regard to whether Mr Johnson’s wife hosted a second lockdown party in the Downing Street flat on the day of the Prime Minister’s 56th birthday.
On June 19 2020, Mr Johnson attended an impromptu gathering in the Cabinet Room, which led to him being fined by the Metropolitan Police along with his wife and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
The Government had already been facing scrutiny over another event in the flat later in the year, on November 13, when Mrs Johnson reportedly held the so-called “Abba party” to celebrate the departure of Dominic Cummings in the fallout from a bitter No 10 power struggle.
Ms Gray said she had only gathered “limited” evidence on the event when she had to stop due to the police investigation, and that she did not consider it “appropriate or proportionate” to resume after officers concluded their inquiry.