Boris Johnson is facing a growing Conservative mutiny against his leadership, as an “adventurous” mood engulfs the party for his attendance at a lockdown Drink event “bring your own wine” in Downing Street.
Several Tory MPs have made statements about the row, which has been called into question Johnson’s judgment and honesty, potentially the terminal for his prime ministership; Two polls show a majority of the public thinks he should resign.
Johnson is under pressure from senior Tories to admit he attended the No 10 garden drink party on May 20, 2020 – as confirmed by multiple witnesses – despite the company’s no-door rules England.
Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, said: “If he’s breached his own guidelines, if he’s been dishonest, that’s a hugely important issue.” He told Sky News that if Johnson had misled parliament “then he must resign”.
The prime minister’s performance at question time in the House of Commons on Wednesday was seen by Tory MPs as a pivotal moment and many Tory MPs want his apology.
Sir Keir Starmer, Labor leader, told the prime minister on Tuesday: “You not only know about the Downing Street parties, you attend them. Don’t lie to the British public. It’s time to clean. “
A Conservative MP said the prime minister’s claims last month that he was unaware of the alleged nefarious parties in Downing Street now seem “like lies”. The MP added: “The mood is risky. This could be the terminal. ”
Even former supporters of Johnson say the “tipping point” has been reached. One MP said letters of no-confidence had been passed on to Graham Brady, chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 committee. One government member said: “We can’t go on like this.”
A total of 54 letters – 15% of Tory MPs – will trigger a vote of no confidence. Most Tory MPs want to wait until the local elections on May 5 before making a position on Johnson’s future, but some believe the reckoning could now come sooner.
“Put it out, Boris, or step aside and let someone else sort it out so the Tories don’t get wiped out at the next election,” said John Caudwell, founder of Phones4U and top Tory donor. follow.”
Conservative MPs had hoped the start of a new year would draw the line on Johnson’s political affairs; instead, he is fighting to fight allegations of parties taking place during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Downing Street declined to comment on the May 2020 party – revealed by Johnson’s former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings – emphasized that it was further reviewed by Sue Gray, a senior civil servant. But the wall of silence from Number 10 has angered Tory MPs.
Johnson declined to answer an urgent question in the Commons on Tuesday during the May 2020 party, sending salary general Michael Ellis in his place.
Ominously for Johnson, no ministers came to support him and the Tory benches were mostly empty. Johnny Mercer, a former minister, tweeted: “I apologize. That’s humiliating, and doesn’t reflect the majority of my colleagues, who *at least try* and lead by example. “
The Metropolitan Police are coordinating with the Cabinet Office on a possible criminal investigation into the party, which took place when outside meetings were allowed with only one person from another household.
The party was organized by Martin Reynolds, the head of Johnson’s office, who invited about 100 Downing Street employees to “make the most of the nice weather” by attending the party, asking them to “bring their own wine.” only you”.
One minister said: “It is surprising that Number 10 is stupid enough to let this happen. Reynolds may have to face public opinion alongside other close aides to the prime minister, but many MPs believe it has stopped for Johnson.
Meanwhile, a quick poll from Savanta ComRes found that 66% of UK adults think thatminister rime should resign; that figure is 42% for Tory voters. A second poll by YouGov found that 56% of people thought Johnson should quit smoking.