PMQs: Tory Backbencher Applauded After Attacking PM's 'Insulting' Handling Of Pincher

“He always tries to blame other people for his mistakes," Gary Sambrook said.
Boris Johnson in PMQs with Gary Sambrook, Tory backbencher
Boris Johnson in PMQs with Gary Sambrook, Tory backbencher

MPs enthusiastically clapped a Tory backbencher who called Boris Johnson’s handling of the Chris Pincher crisis “insulting” during PMQs on Wednesday.

The prime minister’s time in No.10 is looking particularly precarious right now, following the resignations of chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid last night.

Their decision to walk away from the government came after another week of chaotic headlines for the prime minister around what he knew about Pincher, his deputy chief whip who resigned after groping two men last week.

This prompted a flurry of other resignations from more junior members of government.

So it was not surprising when yet another person called on Johnson to resign during PMQs today – although it was a Conservative backbencher.

Gary Sambrook claimed the prime minister had suggested on Tuesday night – in the tea room – that out of the seven MPs who were present when Pincher groped two people, someone should have tried to intervene and stop him from drinking so much.

“As if that wasn’t insulting enough to the people who did try and intervene that night and also to the victims that drink was the problem,” he said.

“He sets the example, Mr Speaker, that as a prime minister, [he] constantly tries to deflect from the issue.

“He always tries to blame other people for his mistakes.

“There’s nothing left for him to do other than take responsibility and resign.”

There was a wave of applause around the Commons, before speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle tried to hush MPs and stop “you ought embarrassed by clapping” during PMQs.

Johnson replied by saying people only want him out of office because he will “win another general election” if he stays in.

He was far from the only Tory to ask Johnson to go during PMQs either.

Former Conservative minister Tim Loughton also asked: “Does the prime minister think there are any circumstances in which he should resign?”

But, again, Johnson did not waver and told the backbencher that his job is to “keep going”.

He said: “Clearly if there were circumstances in which I felt it was impossible for the government to go on and discharge the mandate we have been given, or if I felt, for instance, we are being frustrated in our desire to support the Ukrainian people, or over some related point, then I would.

“But frankly, Mr Speaker, the job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances when he has been handed a colossal mandate is to keep going and that is what I am going to do.”

Brexiteer David Davis also called on the prime minister to step down, while former health secretary Sajid Javid later read out a scathing speech on Johnson’s premiership saying, “enough is enough” and that problems “start from the top”.

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