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Boris Johnson blows as Tory MP submits letter of no confidence after apology for breaking law | United Kingdom | News UK News

In full: Boris Johnson apologizes for ‘Partygate’ row

The former Conservative chief whip has written to the chairman of the Conservative 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady, asking for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister. In his letter, Mr Harper said that having been found guilty of breaking the laws he had established, he had concluded that Mr Johnson was incapable of providing the “principled leadership” the country needed.

He said the Ministerial Code made it clear that ministers who had knowingly misled parliament should resign.

Mr Harper added: ‘The clearest example of the toxic culture at 10 Downing Street which the Prime Minister encouraged was the party thrown by senior politicians hours before Her Majesty The Queen laid her husband to rest beloved for 73 years during a period of national mourning.

“Given that we now know that the Prime Minister broke the law and that there were systemic breaches of the law at 10 Downing Street, it is difficult to avoid concluding that the Prime Minister misled Parliament into error.

“It is especially in times of crisis and international tensions that our country needs a Prime Minister who inspires confidence, obeys the law and embodies the very values ​​that we are trying to defend.”


Tory MP Mark Harper has submitted a letter of defiance to Boris Johnson (Image: Sky News)

Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for the Houses of Parliament

Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for the Houses of Parliament (Image: Getty)

The letter comes after Mr Harper told Mr Johnson in the Commons he must resign after being fined by police for breaking his own COVID-19 rules.

He said: “I strongly support the government’s actions to resist Putin’s aggression and help Ukraine defend itself and our values ​​and it is exactly at times like this that our country needs of a Prime Minister who embodies these values.

“I regret to say that we have a Prime Minister who broke the laws he told the country to follow, was not upfront about it and is now going to ask the honest men and women of these benches to defend what I think is indefensible.

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


Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle

Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle (Image: Getty)

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Effectiveness

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Effectiveness (Image: Getty)

Mr Johnson replied: “I have to tell [him]I know the care and sincerity with which he weighs his words and I bitterly regret what happened.

“I bitterly regret the Downing Street event as I said, but I believe it is the job of this government to get along with the priorities of the British people and that is what we are going to do.”

The Prime Minister insisted in the Commons he was unaware he was breaking his own coronavirus rules and offered MPs a ‘sincere apology’ after being fined by police.

Mr Johnson repeated his apology on Tuesday after Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle approved a vote on whether he had lied to MPs with his earlier denials.

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A Boris Johnson timeline (Picture: Express)

The prime minister is due to be on a government visit to India when the vote takes place on Thursday.

After the House returned from his Easter recess, Mr Johnson said he spoke in “all humility” as he acknowledged the good police issued at the rally at No 10 on his birthday in June 2020.

He said: “I paid the fine immediately and offered a full apology to the British people, and I take this opportunity on the first available sitting day to repeat my sincere apologies in the House.

“Let me also say, not by way of mitigation or apology, but simply because it explains my previous words in this House, that it did not occur to me at the time- there or later, that a gathering in the Cabinet Room just before a vital meeting on Covid strategy could be a violation of the rules.

Conservative MP Mark Harper attends the launch of his Conservative Party leadership campaign in London

Mark Harper at the launch of his 2019 Conservative Party leadership campaign (Image: Getty)

“I repeat that it was my mistake and I apologize unreservedly. I respect the outcome of the police investigation, which is still ongoing, and can only say that I will respect their decision-making and take always the appropriate measures.”

Mr Johnson added he had taken ‘significant steps’ to change the number 10.

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg told Andrew Marr on LBC that Mr Johnson had not knowingly misled Parliament.

He said: “We have such respect for the rule of law in this country that even the head of government is responsible and has been fined. I think it has been made clear that [Mr Johnson] did not mislead the Chamber.”

It comes after the Prime Minister, his wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were given fixed fine notices last week by police investigating alleged breaches of the coronavirus lockdown at No 10.

On December 1, the Prime Minister, in response to press reports of an alleged No 10 Christmas party in 2020, assured MPs that “all guidelines had been fully followed” in Downing Street.

But he has since been fined for his 56th birthday rally at which he was allegedly “ambushed” with a cake.

The police investigation into other alleged offenses is continuing, with the leader of the Conservative Party who is believed to have been involved in six of the 12 events being probed by officers.

The PM is set to speak at a rare all-party Conservative parliamentary meeting in a bid to ‘clear the air’ this evening.

Just over a dozen Tory MPs are thought to be calling for Mr Johnson to quit, but that number could rise if his response to the fine falls short.

Fifty-four letters of no-confidence to the 1922 backbench committee are needed to elicit a vote of no-confidence in the leader.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-19 17:02:00

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