Tory dissatisfaction with Boris Johnson spreads as MPs fear losing seats | Conservatives
Anger among Tory backbenchers is spreading amid fallout from the Sue Gray report, with a minister warning that Boris Johnson is in ‘yellow card territory’.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions, Treasury Secretary John Glen said he had a “very candid and very honest” meeting with Johnson to air his and his constituents’ apprehensions.
“I think we are in yellow card territory but as a member of government I went to him and let him know how I felt and how my constituents felt but he asked me to continue the work of driving reforms in financial services,” he said on Friday evening.
Former cabinet minister David Davis said unease was spreading through Tory ranks as MPs feared the Downing Street lockdown party scandal could cost them their seats.
‘No one in the world could have said more clearly, I don’t think, that I want the prime minister gone – I haven’t changed my mind about that,’ he told the show. BBC Radio 4 Today.
Asked if the discontent was spreading within the Conservative Party, Davis said: ‘There’s no question about that, for two reasons.
“First, frankly, they see their own seats disappearing in many cases, they see themselves losing the next election because of it.
“Plus, it’s having a bad effect on the country…it’s a distraction to whatever you’re doing and it’s not helping the country’s reputation.”
The former Brexit secretary said party leadership issues traditionally took a long time to resolve, pointing to how long John Major and Theresa May stayed at No 10 despite the backbench revolt.
He added: “I’m afraid we won’t resolve this until the end of the year.”
Davis’ warning against rising mutiny came after polling firm YouGov produced new modeling suggesting the Tories would lose all but three of the 88 ‘battleground’ constituencies if a general election were held on Saturday , jeopardizing the majority of the government in the House of Commons.
According to the predicted outcome, Johnson’s seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip will “likely” fall into Labor hands and Red Wall seats such as Blyth Valley and Stoke-on-Trent North would return to work, according to YouGov.
Former health minister Steve Brine has added his name to the list of Tory MPs for delivering letters of no confidence to the Prime Minister, we have learned.
Brine said the Gray report did not alter his view that it was “inevitable that the Prime Minister would face a vote of confidence. All I can do as a backbencher is seek to trigger this process and (a while ago in fact) I did,” he said in a statement. published on its website on Wednesday but picked up by the media on Saturday.
“I have said throughout this sorry saga that I cannot and will not defend the indefensible. Decision makers cannot be lawbreakers.
For a vote of no confidence to be triggered, the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, must receive letters from at least 54 Conservative MPs, or 15% of the parliamentary party.
Tory veteran Sir Bob Neill, a trained barrister and chairman of the House of Commons justice committee, confirmed he had submitted a letter of no confidence on Friday to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of rear Tory MPs -ban.
And also on Friday, Tory MP for Rutland and Melton Alicia Kearns, a former critic of Johnson, released a statement saying she still didn’t trust him.
Her constituency, which includes Melton Mowbray, sparked talk of a ‘pork pie coup’ when she and other Tory MPs discussed a bid to oust the prime minister in January.
In a scathing Facebook post, Kearns said he called for “treating with contempt and contempt” the sacrifices made by others. She wrote: “I can only conclude that the Prime Minister’s account of events to Parliament was misleading.
Johnson announced changes to the ministerial code on Friday as part of a decision, according to his rivals, that watered down penalties for ministers.
An update said ministers would not automatically lose their jobs if they broke the standards code and could instead apologize or possibly have their pay suspended instead.
Chris Bryant, chairman of the House of Commons standards committee, said Johnson’s ‘loosening’ of the ministerial code was ‘bizarre’ and showed why there should be an independent system in place to judge the conduct of ministers .
The Labor MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that he disagreed with the recommendations of the Independent Committee on Standards in Public Life, which allow ministers to remain in office for what could be considered minor breaches of the code.
“Perhaps it’s what one would expect of people who have been mostly civil servants in the past – that’s how they end up on the standards committee in public life – that they would support a strong government who is, generally speaking, able to do what he loves,” he says.
He called for a “proper system in which an independent figure, completely independent of the Prime Minister, decides whether or not to open an investigation into a minister, and decides whether it is a very serious case or a less serious case, then suggests the sanction”.
Bryant added: “That’s not what the prime minister has, it’s all still in the prime minister’s hands and we know, don’t we, that the prime minister still ends up innocent in court of his own opinion.”