Senior Tory Andrea Leadsom has become the 40th to attack Boris Johnson over the so-called Partygate scandal, it has been claimed.
Johnson has refused to resign after an investigation by senior civil servant Sue Gray found that significant failures of leadership, both political and official, had made possible a party culture in 10 Downing Street at a time when the rest of the UK was in lockdown.
This follows a previous refusal to resign after Johnson himself was fined for having taken part in this party culture, attending a birthday event for himself in 2020.
The Gray report also mentions many other occasions in which Johnson attended parties, but the Metropolitan Police, who investigated crimes, have unaccountably failed to take action against him over these other events.
In a letter to constituents, Leadsom stated,
“It is painfully clear to me that given the extent and severity of rule-breaking taking place over a 20-month period, it is extremely unlikely that senior leaders were unaware of what was going on.
“The conclusion I have drawn from the Sue Gray report is that there have been unacceptable failings of leadership that cannot be tolerated and are the responsibility of the prime minister.”
She added that she and all Conservative MPs “must now decide on what is the right course of action that will restore confidence in our government”.
But she stopped short of saying that she has submitted a letter of “no confidence” to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the Tory backbench 1922 committee. 54 such letters will trigger a vote that could remove Johnson from power.
One of the 2019 intake of new Tory MPs, Elliot Colburn, showed no such reticence on Monday when he became the 27th Conservative Parliamentarian we know to have done so.
Two others also came out in criticism of Johnson.
This means 27 MPs have now publicly called for the prime minister to go – but the total number of letters submitted (known only to Brady) is likely to be much higher.
Before previous Tory leader and prime minister Theresa May faced her “no confidence” vote, only 24 letters were known to have been submitted but in fact 48 had been handed in.
And some MPs have said they would not reveal their own opinions on the matter until after Parliament returns from recess next week, which suggests that they may be gauging public reaction in their own constituencies ahead of submitting “no confidence” calls.
Downing Street is said to be likely to be preparing for a possible leadership vote, with Tory grandee Lord Hague suggesting it could be as early as next week or as late as the end of June.
The developments are coming thick and fast. Is it just a matter of time before the Conservative Czar of Corruption faces a revolution that he has brought on himself?
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