18 Tory MPs Have Submitted Letters Of No Confidence In Boris Johnson – But It Could Be Much Higher

Other Conservatives have suggested the prime minister should resign, as the total edges towards the 54 threshold.
<strong>Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference in Downing Street, London.</strong>
Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference in Downing Street, London.
Leon Neal via PA Wire/PA Images

Drip drip ...

Boris Johnson is facing the looming prospect of a leadership challenge in the wake of Sue Gray’s damning report on lockdown rule-breaking parties in Downing Street.

As each day brings another Conservative expressing disquiet at the PM’s leadership, there is a growing belief in Westminster that it is only a matter of when – not if – the 54 letters needed from Tory MPs to trigger a confidence vote are reached.

Not all the no-confidence letters submitted to Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 committee, are made public. And some MPs who have have been critical of Johnson may not have gone as far as to put in a letter.

In any case, here’s the up-to-date list of the discontents: 18 who have sent letters and some of a total of 71 who could reportedly be “potential letter writers”.

MPs to put letters in

“After a great deal of soul-searching, I have reached the conclusion that the prime minister should resign.”

“Does the prime minister think I’m a fool?”

“There is obviously and rightly still a lot of anger about the culture in No 10 during the lockdown period.”

“I have said throughout this sorry saga I cannot and will not defend the indefensible. Rule makers cannot be law-breakers.”

“I am especially appalled at the revelations of the poor treatment of security and cleaning staff at No.10, so my letter remains submitted.”

“I don’t think the prime minister realises how worried colleagues are in every corner of the party.”

“It sounds to me, I am afraid, very much as though politically the prime minister is a dead man walking.”

“To restore trust, we need to change the prime minister.”

“I am very sorry to have to say this, but I no longer think he is worthy of the great office he holds.”

“I have been critical of the prime minister’s behaviour and the culture that existed in Number 10. All I can do as a backbencher is speak out and submit a letter.”

“It is wrong that families were banned from saying goodbye to their dying loved ones, whilst the Prime Minister was complicit in the holding of many goodbye parties for his staff, which we now know displayed a complete disregard for restrictions and were complete with vomiting, fighting and bullying.”

“I can no longer support the PM. His actions and mistruths are overshadowing the extraordinary work of so many excellent ministers and colleagues.”

“The fact that there may have been social events held in No.10 in breach of the rules that they themselves imposed is frankly insulting to those who did what they were told.”

“Trust is the most important commodity in politics, but these events have undermined trust in not just the office of the prime minister, but in the political process itself.”

“He looks like a liability and I think he either goes now, or he goes in three years’ time at a general election.”

“I cannot reconcile the pain and sacrifice of the vast majority of the British public during lockdown with the attitude and activities of those working in Downing Street.”

“The continuing criticism, revelations and questions are debilitating for the government at a time when there are so many other important and critical issues to be addressed.”

“A series of unforced errors are deeply damaging to the perception of the party. The prime minister’s position is untenable.”

Critical Tory MPs

The number of letters to have arrived in Brady’s postbag is likely to be much higher – with MPs who have been damning of the prime minister, going as far as to say he should resign, still keeping their cards close to their chest.

“If the prime minister occupied any other office of senior responsibility...he would be long gone.”

“In the name of God, go.”

“This is unforgivable...the culture has become lazy and slack about what happens after hours, what happens in offices.”

“There have been unacceptable failings of leadership that cannot be tolerated and are the responsibility of the prime minister.”

Tim Loughton

“Boris Johnson’s position is now untenable...his resignation is the only way to bring this whole unfortunate episode to an end.”

“We all know that if the prime minister doesn’t ship up, then they have to shape out.”

“I have to tell him he no longer enjoys my support.”

“While I thought it important to wait for the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police investigation and the publication of the Sue Gray report, I am now unable to give the prime minister the benefit of the doubt and feel it is now in the public interest for him to resign.”

“I am considering whether or not I ought to put in a letter. I’ve had emails from what I would call Christian, decent, honest, honourable types of Tory voters, who say they feel embarrassed about voting Conservative with Boris Johnson.”

“We need this to change. Now.”

“I don’t believe for one minute that Boris Johnson has taken responsibility for his actions, an apology doesn’t constitute taking responsibility and that’s why I’ve asked him to resign.”

“If leadership is in part about setting the right tone for the organisation you lead, the tone represented by the routine disregard for the spirit, and often the letter, of the Covid rules which Sue Gray describes betrayed at best a casual and at worst a contemptuous attitude to the sacrifices made and distress felt by the many who observed rigorously both spirit and letter of those rules.”

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