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How many Tory MPs are calling for Boris Johnson to quit and who are they?

Sir Graham Brady of 1922 Committee announces PM to face vote of no confidence

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
,Chiara Giordano,Joe Sommerlad
Monday 06 June 2022 15:57 BST
Graham Brady confirms Boris Johnson will face no-confidence vote

Boris Johnson will face a no-confidence vote on Monday evening after Sir Graham Brady, chair of the influential 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, announced that he had received the necessary number of critical letters to trigger a ballot.

Sir Graham said the vote – at which the prime minister will need to secure the support of 50 per cent of his own MPs to survive – would take place in the House of Commons between 6-8pm and that he had informed Mr Johnson of the development on Sunday night.

"We agreed the timetable for the confidence vote to take place and he shared my view - which is also in line with the rules that we have in place – that that vote should happen as soon as could reasonably take place and that would be today,” Sir Graham told reporters outside Parliament.

Asked precisely how many letters the committee had received and when the threshold of 54 had been passed, its chair declined to answer, explaining: “It is slightly complicated because some colleagues had asked specifically that it should not be until the end of the Jubilee celebrations.”

Anger remains rife among Tory MPs over Downing Street rule-breaking during the coronavirus pandemic, a scandal that became known as “Partygate” and which has dogged Mr Johnson for six months, raising persistent questions about his leadership.

The long-awaited publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s report into the affair last month did nothing to quell the ill-feeling, leading to the extraordinary spectacle of the PM and his wife, Carrie Johnson, being booed by monarchists as they arrived at the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral in central London on Friday for a ceremony to honour the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

While some disgruntled Conservatives have preferred to keep their letter-writing a secret, others have been vocal in demanding Mr Johnson’s resignation.

Here is a full list of Tory MPs who have called for the PM to stand down.

1. Sir Roger Gale, MP for North Thanet

The first Tory MP to declare no confidence in the prime minister last year, Sir Roger described the notorious Partygate pictures – which show the PM apparently toasting his then-communications chief Lee Cain with a plastic cup of sparkling wine in a room littered with alcohol bottles on 13 November 2020 – as “damning”.

The MP for North Thanet submitted a letter of no confidence in the PM in December, but subsequently said it was not the right time for a leadership election, given Russia’s war in Ukraine.

However, the veteran Conservative has since told Times Radio: “It’s absolutely clear that there was a party, that he attended it, that he was raising a toast to glass one of his colleagues. And therefore, he misled us from the despatch box. And, honourably, there is one answer.”

2. Steve Baker, MP for Wycombe

Former Conservative minister Steve Baker called for Mr Johnson to quit in April.

“The prime minister now should be long gone,” the senior backbencher told the Commons. “Really, the prime minister should just know the gig’s up.’”

Mr Baker, deputy leader of the Tories’ Covid Recovery Group, said he found he could not “forgive” the PM for “not obeying the letter and spirit” of the law.

He declined to comment on the most recent photos, but tweeted a government poster issued during lockdown depicting a seriously ill Covid patient with the words: “Look her in the eyes and tell her you never bend the rules.”

3. William Wragg, MP for Hazel Grove

Mr Wragg revealed he had submitted a no-confidence letter during a Commons debate on whether Mr Johnson should be referred to a parliamentary committee over Partygate.

He said it was “utterly depressing to be asked to defend the indefensible... I cannot reconcile myself to the prime minister’s continued leadership.”

4. Anthony Mangnall, MP for Totnes

The backbencher submitted a no-confidence letter earlier this year – saying Mr Johnson’s “actions and mistruths” were overshadowing the government’s work.

Mr Mangnall told a constituent he stood by the resignation call following the PM’s police fine, according to Sky News.

5. Mark Harper, MP for Forest of Dean

The former chief whip called for the PM to go in the Commons, as he also shared a letter of no-confidence he sent to the 1922 Committee.

Former chief whip Mark Harper (PA)

Mr Harper said: “Our party still has so much to offer our country, but sadly, not under Boris Johnson’s leadership.”

6. Craig Whittaker, MP for Calder Valley

The ex-party whip said Mr Johnson should “do the right thing and resign” during a Facebook event after the PM was fined.

But Mr Whittaker said he would not be submitting a letter to the 1922 Committee – predicting that Mr Johnson would win a no-confidence vote (his removal would require a majority of Tory MPs, around 180, to vote against him).

6. Nigel Mills, MP for Amber Valley

Mr Mills said Mr Johnson’s position as PM was “untenable” after he was fined by the Metropolitan Police for breaking his own Covid laws.

He said he would be sending in a letter of no-confidence to Sir Graham.

7. Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East

The defence committee chair said it was “horrible” for Tory MPs to have to defend Partygate and submitted a no-confidence letter earlier this year.

Former minister Tobias Ellwood has submitted a no confidence letter (PA)

Following the police fine, Mr Ellwood said he still believed the PM should “step back”.

8. Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North

The ex-minister said Mr Johnson was “damaging the entire Conservative brand” over Partygate, describing him as a “liability” as she called on him to quit.

Ms Nokes has told a constituent she submitted a letter of no-confidence to the 1922 Committee “a long time ago”.

Former minister Caroline Nokes has described the PM as a ‘liability’ (PA)

9. Sir Gary Streeter, MP for South West Devon

Announcing he had sent in his letter on no-confidence earlier this year, Mr Streeter said he could not “reconcile the pain and sacrifice” of the British public with “the attitude and activities of those working in Downing Street”.

He told a constituent he stood by the resignation call, according to Sky News.

10. Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney

Mr Aldous said earlier this year he had submitted a letter to the 1922 Committee “after a great deal of soul-searching” – saying a new leader would be in “the best interests of the country, the government and the Conservative Party”.

He reportedly told a constituent he “remained of this opinion”.

11. Aaron Bell, MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme

Mr Bell submitted a letter of no-confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership in February.

He said the PM’s position was “untenable” because of his handling of the Partygate scandal and the “breach of trust” represented by the series of lockdown-breaching events at Downing Street.

The MP later said the row had come up on some doorsteps in early May and that the issues around Mr Johnson’s leadership “needs to be brought to a head sooner rather than later”.

12. David Davis, MP for Haltemprice and Howden

Brexiteer David Davis dramatically called on the PM to quit in January, telling him: “In the name of God, go.”

The former Cabinet minister became the most senior Conservative to demand his resignation over the Partygate scandal, intervening during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.

David Davis said he had not changed his mind after calling for Boris Johnson to resign in January (PA)

“You have sat there too long for all the good you have done,” Mr Davis said, reviving a quote first attributed to Oliver Cromwell.

13. Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and the Border

The backbencher spoke out against the PM after he was fined. Although Mr Hudson said the Ukraine war meant now was not the time for a leadership contest, he called on Mr Johnson to “outline a timetable and process for an orderly transition to a leadership election as soon as the international situation permits”.

14. Andrew Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield

In an intervention after Mr Johnson’s statement to the House of Commons following the publication of the 31 January update on the Gray inquiry, the ex-chief whip told the No 10 incumbent he “no longer enjoys my support”.

15. Nick Gibb, MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton

The long-serving former schools minister became the 14th Conservative MP to publicly announce he had submitted a letter of no-confidence in the PM.

Mr Gibb attacked Mr Johnson for “flagrantly disregarding” rules he had set “within the fortress of 10 Downing Street”.

He said his constituents were “furious about the double standards” and the PM had been “inaccurate” in statements to the Commons.

16. Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham

The former children’s minister told constituents via a Facebook post on 15 January that he had “regretfully come to the conclusion that Boris Johnson’s position is now untenable” and that his “resignation is the only way to bring this whole unfortunate episode to an end”.

17. Julian Sturdy, MP for York and Outer

Backbencher Julian Sturdy began the trickle of fresh voices demanding Mr Johnson’s exit after the damning inquiry from the senior civil servant was finally published in full on 25 May.

He wrote on Twitter: “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.”

18. John Baron, MP for Basildon and Billericay

Mr Baron accused the PM of misleading parliament, and said he “no longer enjoys my support”.

“Given the scale of rule-breaking in No 10, I can not accept that the prime minister was unaware,” he said in a statement on his website.

“Therefore, his repeated assurances in Parliament that there was no rule-breaking is simply not credible.

“Having always said I would consider all the available evidence before deciding, I’m afraid the prime minister no longer enjoys my support – I can no longer give him the benefit of the doubt.”

19. David Simmonds, MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner

In a statement, Mr Simmonds said it was “clear that while the government and our policies enjoy the confidence of the public, the prime minister does not”.

He added: “Accordingly, it is time for him to step down so that new leadership can take forward the important work of the government in ensuring that our people and country prosper.”

20. Sir Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst

The former minister said the report by Ms Gray had uncovered “wholly unacceptable” behaviour in No 10 and said the Partygate scandal had undermined trust in the office of the PM.

Conservative MP and Justice Committee chair Sir Bob Neill (PA)

“To rebuild that trust and move on, a change in leadership is required,” he said, confirming he had submitted a letter of no-confidence.

21. Alicia Kearns, MP for Melton

In May, Ms Kearns reiterated she no longer had confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership, saying his accounts to Parliament over the scandal were “misleading”.

She hit out at the “shameful lengths” she said some would pursue to preserve Mr Johnson’s premiership and attacked his call for the public to move on.

22. Steve Brine, MP for Winchester

Former health minister Mr Brine said he had added his name to the list of Tory MPs to have handed in letters of no-confidence – suggesting a vote appeared “inevitable”.

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

23. Anne Marie Morris, MP for Newton Abbot

Ms Marie Morris, who had the Tory whip restored after it was removed in January, confirmed to Sky News she had re-submitted a letter of no-confidence.

Earlier this year, she said the events in Downing Street were “frankly insulting”.

24. Stephen Hammond, MP for Wimbledon

The former minister said the Gray report’s conclusions were “daming” for the PM and added: “I cannot and will not defend the indefensible”.

“Since 9 December 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.”

25. Jeremy Wright, MP for Kenilworth and Southam

In a statement, the former attorney general called on Mr Johnson to resign, saying he believed he had been “negilgent” in failing to ensure repeated assurances he gave that no rules had been broken were correct.

“I have therefore, with regret, concluded that, for the good of this and future governments, the prime Minister should resign.”

Former attorney general Jeremy Wright (PA )

26. Elliot Colburn, MP for Carshalton and Wallington

A spokesman for Carshalton and Wallington MP Elliot Colburn, who was elected in 2019, confirmed he had submitted a letter of no-confidence.

27. Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire

Mr Bridgen previously withdrew his letter of no-confidence in Mr Johnson as Russian forces invaded Ukraine but annouced he had resubmitted it in response to the “further revelations” contained in the Sue Gray report.

In an email to constituents, the MP claimed colleauges were “close to triggering a vote of no confidence”.

28. John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle

The Carlisle MP said he had been “deeply disappointed” by the events in No 10 and suggested Mr Johnson should put himself forward for a confidence vote.

However, he added: “The prime minister appears unwilling to bring matters to a head and submit himself to such a vote. Therefore, the only option is for the Conservative MPs to facilitate a vote of confidence. I’ve already taken the appropriate action.”

29. Karen Bradley, MP for Staffordshire Moorlands

The ex-Cabinet minister has said that “law breaking in Downing Street is unforgivable”.

While cautioning that her fellow MPs should “act responsibly” when considering toppling the PM in light of the Ukraine situation, she added: “If I had been a minister found to have broken the laws that I passed, I would be tendering my resignation now.”

30. Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire

Mr Norman posted his letter of no-confidence on social media on Monday morning, just ahead of Sir Graham’s announcement, his the 19th confirmed so far and one of the most damning, calling Mr Johnson’s response to Partygate “grotesque”.

His address to the PM accused him of presiding over “a culture of casual law-breaking”, labelled the government’s current policy priorities “deeply questionable” and attacked the PM for imperilling the Northern Ireland Protocol, warning that any breach would be “economically very damaging, politically foolhardy and almost certainly illegal”.

31: Douglas Ross, MP for Moray in the Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Tory leader has flip-flopped several times on Mr Johnson’s future – submitting a letter demanding a no-confidence vote before withdrawing it when the Ukraine war broke out.

Most recently, he said there should be no leadership challenge before the war is over, but has now said he will vote to try to topple the prime minister.

Mr Ross said the timing of the vote was “far from ideal” – given the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine – but tweeted: “Now that this confidence vote is upon us, I cannot in good faith support Boris Johnson.”

He said he had “heard loud and clear the anger at the breaking of Covid rules that we all did our best to follow, and even more so at the statements to parliament from the prime minister on this topic”.

While the PM’s Cabinet colleagues like chancellor Rishi Sunak, foreign secretary Liz Truss, health secretary Sajid Javid and levelling up secretary Michael Gove have all expressed their support ahead of Monday’s vote, a number of other senior Tories have been highly critical of Mr Johnson while stopping short of the 30 above explicitly calling for his resignation.

Tom Larkin of Sky News puts the total number of Conservative MPs questioning the PM’s leadership at 46, with the likes of Nickie Aiken, Andrew Bowie, Caroline Dinenage, Simon Fell, Andrea Leadsom, Dan Poulter, Derek Thomas and Tom Tugendhat among their number.

And, while not an MP, Lord Wolfson’s resignation from his position as Lords Justice minister in April is also worth bearing in mind, as he explicitly cited Mr Johnson’s behaviour in office as the reason for his own decision to step down.

”It is not just a question of what happened in Downing Street, or your own conduct,” he told the PM. “It is also, and perhaps more so, the official response to what took place.”

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