Senior Conservative MP Mark Harper has known as for Boris Johnson to step down over his conduct in the course of the Partygate scandal – saying the prime minister was “not worthy” of the workplace.
The previous minister revealed that he had despatched a letter of no-confidence to the 1922 Committee chair Sir Graham Brady shortly after Mr Johnson apologised “unreservedly” within the Commons.
Mr Harper, who leads the Covid Restoration Group, informed MPs: “I’m very sorry to must say this, however I not assume he’s worthy of the good workplace that he holds.”
The senior determine added: “We now have a PM who broke the foundations that he informed the general public to comply with, hasn’t been easy about it – and is now going to ask the first rate women and men on these benches to defend the indefensible.”
In his letter to the 1922 Committee chair, Mr Harper urged Mr Johnson might have damaged the ministerial code – saying it was “tough to keep away from the conclusion that the prime minister has misled parliament”.
Mr Harper accused the PM of fostering a “poisonous tradition” at No 10 – saying the clearest instance was employees partying “hours earlier than Her Majesty the Queen laid to relaxation her beloved husband”.
Dismissing the concept that a management contest could be unwise in the course of the Ukraine warfare, Mr Harper mentioned it was at instances of worldwide disaster “that our nation wants a main minister who instructions belief [and] obeys the legislation”.
The senior determine added: “I’ve reached the conclusion he’s not capable of ship the principled management required to take our nation ahead … Our celebration nonetheless has a lot to supply our nation, however sadly, not underneath Boris Johnson’s management.”
Cupboard minister Jacob Rees-Mogg dismissed the concept that Mr Harper’s assertion was an enormous second. “Mark had been gearing up for that for a while,” he informed LBC Radio. “It was fairly humorous when he mentioned how a lot it pained him when he was clearly having fun with the second completely.”
Mr Rees-Mogg additionally mentioned Mr Johnson’s “contrition was very real” and insisted: “I feel it’s clear that the prime minister didn’t knowingly misled.”
In his first feedback to the Commons since he was handed a £50 wonderful for attending his birthday celebration in June 2020, Mr Johnson repeated the “full apology” he first made in a broadcast interview final week.
Requested if he had intentionally misled the Home by telling MPs in December that Covid guidelines had been adopted at Downing Avenue, he replied: “No.”
The apology was dismissed as “half-hearted” by Sir Keir Starmer – who repeated his name for Mr Johnson to resign after changing into the primary sitting PM discovered to have damaged the legislation.
The Labour chief urged Tory MPs to “convey an finish to this shameful chapter”, including: “I urge them once more – don’t comply with within the slipstream of this uncontrolled, out of contact prime minister.”
Nonetheless, a number of Tory MPs got here to Mr Johnson’s defence. Robert Halfon, chair of the schooling choose committee, thanked the PM for his apology and mentioned it will “imply one thing to my constituents”.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown, treasurer of the 1922 committee, praised the “fulsome apology” and mentioned the prime minister was “taking a lead in Ukraine”.
Veteran Tory MP Sir Invoice Money identified that the mounted penalty discover was a civil wonderful – claiming that it comes with out “any request for forgiveness”.
Steve Baker MP, Mr Harper’s fellow lockdown sceptic, mentioned: “My proper honourable buddy couldn’t have made a extra humble apology.” However the senior Tory backbencher added: “What assurance can he give us that nothing of this sort will ever occur once more?”
Tory MP David Simmonds additionally challenged Mr Johnson, saying he understood public anger over events. “I’ve to ask … what steps he had in thoughts to revive the ethical authority of this authorities?”
Mr Johnson replied that he was “heartily sorry”, earlier than saying he had “taken steps to alter the way in which we do issues in No 10”. However the PM refused to say whether or not he accepted that he had damaged the legislation.
Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has allowed MPs to vote on a Labour movement this Thursday on whether or not the PM ought to face an investigation over claims he misled parliament over Covid rule breaches.
Labour is known to be wording the movement to make the vote about whether or not to refer Mr Johnson to the Committee of Privileges, which has the facility to summon studies and paperwork.
A Labour supply: “Any Conservative MP contemplating voting to dam this investigation could be voting for a cover-up. They need to replicate on the mess they received themselves into over Owen Paterson earlier than falling into line.”