Fresh wave of Tories tell UK Premier to leave 

February 5, 2022 - 17:46

TEHRAN- More Tory rebel MPs angry with the scandal-hit British Prime Minister have publicly called on Boris Johnson to resign from his post. 

There are now at least 14 Conservative Party MPs who have publicly stated they have submitted a letter of no confidence to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady. 

Although one British newspaper says it has been informed privately and directly by an MP that he/she has also submitted a letter which would take the number to 15.

Johnson faces a vote of confidence in his leadership if 54 Tories - 15% of the party's 360 MPs - send letters to Brady.

If that threshold is reached and he loses the vote, his premiership will be over and a leadership contest would automatically be triggered. 

While 14 or 15 Tory MPs have come out in public and called on the Prime Minister to resign, the true number is believed to be higher. 

Only Brady knows the real number of letters submitted to him.

The fallout from the Downing Street parties scandal has become a growing threat to the British Prime Minister as well as the ruling Tory party who are stuck between a scandal-hit PM and domestic as well as international crises that are being overlooked. 

With public attention focused on the PM, the damage from resignation or even calls for the PM’s resignation is also hurting the image of the government and the wider ruling Conservative Party who face losing power.

Observers say those who call for Johnson’s resignation in public are inflicting more damage to the ruling conservative party’s reputation. 

However, reports suggest other Tory MPs are expected to consider, over the coming days, whether to write to Brady and make it known publicly in an attempt to force a leadership contest.

The mounting anger among Conservative MPs is a sign of division within the party that analysts say is now in crisis mode.

On Thursday evening, there was also departures from Boris Johnson’s own team which left the PM without a director of communications, a principal private secretary or a chief of staff. One former cabinet minister speaking on condition of anonymity says this could hasten Johnson’s own exit. “The mass exodus is obviously bad for Boris and may bring forward decision day”.

Another unnamed former minister is reported to have said “I think there are probably a lot of people who are going to be wrestling with their consciences over the weekend.” 

He/She says the exodus from Downing Street “all looks a little bit like panic”.

Elena Narozanski, a special adviser to the Prime Minister became the fifth aide to depart on Friday morning.

Johnson’s spokesman says new appointments would be made “in the coming days”. 

Former Minister, Nick Gibb, is among the latest MP to heap pressure on Johnson. 

Speaking to British media, he has denounced the PM saying “my constituents are furious about the double standards, imposing harsh and to my mind, necessary restrictions as we and the world sought to defend ourselves against this new and deadly virus, while at the same time flagrantly disregarding those rules within the fortress of Downing Street.”

He says “to restore [public] trust, we need to change the prime minister”. 

Gibb claims that Johnson has been “inaccurate” when delivering statements to parliament.

The MP says “the Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Allegra Stratton (former senior government spokeswoman) for joking about a Christmas party that she hadn’t attended, but he won’t take responsibility for those that he did attend”. 

“I am sorry to say that it is hard to see how it can be the case that the prime minister told the truth”, he added. 

Gibb has also confirmed he submitted a letter of no confidence to the chairman of the 1922 Committee.

Another Tory MP, Aaron Bell also revealed he has handed in a letter of no confidence, saying the PM's position is "untenable".

Earlier, three other high-profile MPs had also publicly stated their disapproval with Johnson calling on him to go. Gary Streeter, Tobias Ellwood, and Anthony Mangnall made their positions clear in a single day in a show of growing anger.

Speaking to British media, former Defense Minister, Ellwood says it is "just horrible" for Tory MPs to "continuously have to defend this to the British public".

He says "I don't think the prime minister realizes how worried colleagues are in every corner of the party, backbenchers, and ministers alike, that this is all only going one way and will invariably slide towards a very ugly place”.

Ellwood also stressed "I believe it's time for the prime minister to take a grip of this; he himself should call a vote of confidence, rather than waiting for the inevitable 54 letters to be eventually submitted.

"It's time to resolve this completely, so the party can get back to governing, and, yes, I know the next question you will ask, I will be submitting my letter today to the 1922 Committee."

One of the most high-ranking government figures to express frustration with Downing Street is the current Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt, who has been quoted as telling a member of the public that she wants assurances about the “competence and integrity” of “how Downing Street is operating”.

Reports have cited her as saying “like you, I am shocked at the stupidity of what has taken place against a backdrop of sacrifice and discipline from the country. As well as the issues Gray is looking at, I want to be assured of proper oversight, competence, and integrity in how Downing Street is operating. It is critical to a functioning government and the trust of the public.”

Johnson continues to try and rally for support from staff as pressure mounts over Downing Street parties and gathering during COVID lockdown restrictions in 2020 and 2021 imposed by Downing Street itself, a dozen of which under Metropolitan Police investigation. 

The Met Police is investigating a dozen parties in Downing Street and Whitehall and has been handed a bundle of evidence including 300 photographs. One person who has reportedly seen some of the evidence says “It looked like a party to me”.

Johnson is losing both trust and allies by the day as his own aides, cabinet ministers and Tory MPs distance themselves from the Prime Minister wary that the whole situation may reach a stage of calling a snap election. 

Analysts have also argued that behind the front door of Downing Street are offices where hundreds of people work; a mixture of politicians, political appointees, and civil servants and it has become clear that the whole of Downing Street has become riddled with a culture of contempt.

A contempt which says laws are only for the working class, while those inside Downing Street enjoy a certain degree of arrogance that makes them believe they are better than the rest of society because they are representing the interests of a tiny elite that are getting richer by the day. 

As the wealth gap rises along with the unemployment rate, observers say if Johnson does leave, he will be replaced with somebody that represents the same approach but conducts themselves better in the public eye. 

Nevertheless, critics say what happened during Johnson’s self-imposed Covid-19 lockdown rules on the British public was shocking. 

The rules meant the loved ones of those who were dying could not say goodbye and bid them farewell at a hospital or attend their buriel; while the PM and his inner circle were breaking the rules regularly with parties. 

Critics also say that lack of empathy by the PM for the whole situation where people’s parents were dying and friends getting ill and all the stress that occurred during the government imposed lockdowns is at the heart of the issue here.

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