Boris Johnson no-confidence letters: Which Tory MPs have written to 1922 committee to force leadership contest – iNews


A number of Tory MPs have submitted letters of no confidence in Boris Johnson, seeking to trigger a Conservative leadership election.
A rebellion within the Conservative Party was triggered on Wednesday when Mr Johnson issued a partial apology over a “bring your own booze” event held in Downing Street during lockdown.
Backbench Tories were incensed when Mr Johnson appeared to suggest that he believed the gathering in the garden of No 10 was a work event and not a party.
Under the Conservative Party’s leadership rules, a formal vote of no confidence will be sparked if 15 per cent of the party’s MPs submit a letter to the head of the influential backbench 1992 Committee, a post held by Sir Graham Brady.
There are currently 360 Tory MPs, meaning that 54 of them are needed to submit a letter to spark a confidence vote, which would then see all the party’s MPs vote on Mr Johnson’s future.
Only MPs have a vote in the initial process – notably excluding Tory Scottish Parliamentarians and peers who have called for the PM to go.
The 1922 Committee keeps the number of MPs who have submitted letters a closely-guarded secret, but MPs are free to make public if they have done so.
The 1922 Committee, also known as “the 22”, is a committee of all backbench Conservative MPs that meets weekly when the Commons is sitting. It has considerable influence within the Parliamentary Party.
To date, two MPs have publicly confirmed that they have submitted a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister, out of the 54 needed to spark a vote.
Sir Roger Gale
North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale, a veteran Tory backbencher, was the first to break ranks on Wednesday and confirm he had submitted a letter, describing the PM as a “dead man walking”.
He told Sky News: “I have written to Sir Graham Brady and said that there should be a leadership contest.
“I do believe that in this instance, the 1922 Committee have a duty to go to the Prime Minister and have a word with him, because we cannot go on like this. I say this with a heavy heart, because he has got Brexit done and introduced a world.”
Douglas Ross
In the most significant intervention so far, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives called on Mr Johnson to step aside as Prime Minister. Mr Ross is the MP for Moray as well as a Member of the Scottish Parliament, meaning he is able to submit a letter of no confidence.
He told STV that he had spoken to the Prime Minister on Wednesday afternoon, adding: “I set down my reasons and I explained to him my position”.
Mr Ross added: “Regretfully I have to say that his position is no longer tenable… I didn’t want to be in this position, but I am in the position now where I don’t think he can continue it as leader of the Conservatives.”
William Wragg (suspected)
The MP for Hazel Grove since 2015 and vice-chair of the 1922 Committee, Mr Wragg called on Mr Johnson to resign but did not say whether he had sent a letter.
He told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme that it was “a tragedy things have come to pass in this way”, adding: “Unfortunately, I wasn’t reassured. I fear this is simply going to be a continuing distraction to the good governance of the country.”
He said it would be “preferable” for Mr Johnson to offer his resignation himself as MPs were “tired” and “frankly worn out of defending what is invariably indefensible”.
He said: “I don’t believe it should be left to the findings of a civil servant to determine the future of the Prime Minister and indeed who governs this country. I think it is for the Conservative Party, if not the Prime Minister, in fact, to make that decision, and to realise what is in the best interest, so that we can move forward both as a party and a country.”
Caroline Nokes (suspected)
The chair of Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee has backed calls for the PM to resign, though she also has not clarified whether she has sent a letter.
Speaking on ITV’s Peston, she said: “Regretfully, he looks like a liability, and I think he either goes now or he goes in three years’ time at a General Election, and it’s up to the party to decide which way round that’s going to be.
“He’s damaging us, and the entire Conservative brand with an unwillingness to accept the strictures that others have lived by.
“The Conservative Party is bigger than one man, but that one man is dragging the party down.”
Only MPs have a vote in the process, but others within the party have called on Mr Johnson to go.
Half of Scottish Conservative MSPs
Mr Ross’s decision to back a no-confidence motion has unleashed a full-scale rebellion against the PM the Scottish Conservative Party.
More than half of the party’s 31 MSPs have backed Mr Ross, including top Scottish Tories Jackson Carlaw, Murdo Fraser and Annie Wells, though they do not have a vote in the leadership process.
Mr Carlaw said: “People in Eastwood, and across the UK made enormous sacrifices to follow the rules.
“Given that the PM has now confirmed he attended a rule-breaking gathering, he has lost the confidence of the country, so I believe Douglas has made the right call & that the PM should stand down.”
Baroness Ruth Davidson
The former leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, who was elevated to the Lords last year, has made clear her support for her successor’s rebellion against Mr Johnson.
She tweeted: “A tough call to make. But the right one.”
Resharing her own thoughts on the party controversy, she added: “Nobody needs an official to tell them if they were at a boozy shindig in their own garden. People are (rightly) furious. They sacrificed so much – visiting sick or grieving relatives, funerals. What TF were any of these people thinking?”
Though without a vote, Baroness Davidson is a well-respected figure in the party, widely credited with giving it a new lease of life in Scotland.
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi
The former co-chairman of the Conservative Party, one of its most prominent figures in the Lords, expressed her support for the removal of Mr Johnson.
She tweeted: “Every minister, parliamentarian & staffer at any #downingstreetparty must resign NOW. No ifs no buts.
“The rule of law is a fundamental value-the glue that hold us together as a nation. Once that is trashed by those in power the very essence of our democracy is at stake.”
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