Melanie, a lifelong Tory, phoned to BBC Radio 5 Live to call for the prime minister to resign, saying: “I just cannot believe what he says anymore.”
“He was there, backed into a corner. I am at the point I just think he needs to resign. I think he’s doing an injustice to anybody that’s ever voted Conservative.”
Melanie said she had “always only voted Conservative”, saying: “I only became a member when Boris really came to the forefront. I really liked Boris
“Over the last couple of weeks, I sort of began to doubt a lot of things,” she said, before the tipping point of his performance at a stormy prime minister’s questions.
In the Commons, Mr Johnson apologised for the video of senior Downing Street staff joking about holding a lockdown-breaking party – after days of denying any party took place.
He announced an investigation by the Cabinet Secretary, but still refused to admit there was a party and claimed he had been “assured’ that no Covid rules were broken if there was.
In evidence that the controversy has cut through to the public – in a way that most political rows fail to do – a snap poll found 54 per cent of voters believe Mr Johnson should quit.
The Conservatives are increasingly gloomy about the North Shropshire by-election next week, one senior Tory telling The Independent: “We wrote that off a week ago.”
The Liberal Democrats are increasingly confident of pulling off a shock to dwarf even their triumph at Chesham and Amersham earlier this year, in a vote forced by the resignation of the disgraced Owen Paterson.
The party reports the controversy is being raised by North Shropshire voters and that it has “put rocket boosters’ under their campaign.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies