Pressure mounts further on Boris Johnson over ‘partygate’ report


oris Johnson faced further pressure to resign on Tuesday as another senior Tory joined calls for the Prime Minister to consider his position in the wake of the Sue Gray report into lockdown parties in Downing Street.

Sir Charles Walker, the vice chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, said there was now so much anger over what happened that Mr Johnson should consider whether the country could heal better if he left No 10.

Earlier another Tory backbencher, Peter Aldous, the MP for Waveney, said he had submitted a letter to the chairman of the 1922, Sir Graham Brady calling for a vote of no confidence in the leader.

Sir Charles stopped short of directly calling for Mr Johnson to resign, saying he had got “many things right” such as the vaccines and lifting lockdown.

But in an interview with Channel 4 News he suggested that the situation may have gone too far for Mr Johnson to recover.

“I think there’s so much grief and pain out there that if he was to say, ‘Look, I understand that I asked so much of the country and it needs to come to terms with that grief and pain and start the process of healing and if it could do that better without me in Number 10 then I shall stand aside’, that would show great courage on behalf of the Prime Minister,” he said. “I would applaud him for doing that, but that is his decision.”

Mr Aldous however, said that he did not believe Mr Johnson would quit voluntarily and that the only way was to force him out through a confidence vote.

Sir Charles Walker said he would applaud Boris Johnson if he had the courage to stand down (House of Commons/PA) / PA Archive

“After a great deal of soul-searching, I have reached the conclusion that the Prime Minister should resign,” he tweeted.

“It is clear that he has no intention of doing so and I have therefore written to the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, advising him that I have no confidence in the Prime Minister as leader of the Conservative Party.”

Under party rules there must be a confidence vote if 54 Tory MPs – 15% of the parliamentary party – submit letters to Sir Graham.

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