Tory MP resubmitting no-confidence note suggests ballot trigger could be ‘close’

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Another Tory MP joined a growing number of colleagues calling on the Prime Minister to face a vote of confidence, suggesting the tally could now be ‘close’ to the triggering of an election.

Andrew Bridgen emailed his constituents in North West Leicestershire on Monday to say he had resubmitted his letter of no confidence to Boris Johnson following ‘new revelations over the past week’, which saw publication of Sue Gray’s long-awaited report on partygate.

He originally submitted a letter in January 2022 but withdrew it in March, arguing it was inappropriate to hold a vote of confidence amid fighting in Ukraine.

It comes as No 10 comes under renewed pressure to reveal whether Mr Johnson’s wife hosted a second lockdown party at the Downing Street flat, with more Tory MPs calling on the Prime Minister to step down.

In his email, Mr Bridgen said: ‘I thought that during the early stages of the Russian-Ukrainian war it would be wrong to have a leadership race.

“However, there have been new revelations over the past week and there is obviously and rightly still a lot of anger about the culture of No 10 during the period of lockout.

Andrew Bridgen emailed his constituents in North West Leicestershire on Monday to say he had re-submitted his no-confidence letter to Boris Johnson (Justin Tallis/PA) (PA wire)

“Me and my colleagues have tabled a letter of no confidence over the past few days and the numbers may well be on the verge of triggering a vote of no confidence.

“It would give the parliamentary party the chance to register whether they think Boris Johnson is the person who will continue to lead the party or not.”

Earlier, former attorney general Jeremy Wright said the events in Downing Street had caused ‘real and lasting harm’ to government authority and he had concluded ‘with regret’ that Mr Johnson should go.

A spokesman for Carshalton and Wallington MP Elliot Colburn, who was elected in 2019, confirmed he had submitted a letter calling for a vote of no confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership.

And a fourth Tory MP, Nickie Aiken, has suggested the Prime Minister submit to a vote of confidence to end “speculation” over his future.

Jeremy Wright said events in Downing Street had done ‘real and lasting damage to the authority of government’ (House of Commons/PA) (PA Archive)

It comes after No 10 did not deny a report that Carrie Johnson threw a second party at the Downing Street flat, where she and her husband live, on the Prime Minister’s 56th birthday.

On the day in question, June 19, 2020, Mr Johnson was also present at an impromptu gathering in the Cabinet Room, which resulted in him being fined by the Metropolitan Police along with his wife and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that an anonymous aide claimed to have told Ms Gray’s inquest they had received messages showing Ms Johnson had met ‘several’ male friends that evening, the Prime minister later heading to the apartment where they were meeting.

Asked about the report, a spokesman for No 10 said senior civil servant Ms Gray had made it clear in her terms of reference that she would look into other allegations where there were ‘credible’ allegations that the rules had been violated.

The Sunday Times said the aide, who has since reportedly written to the Cabinet Secretary about the messages, told Ms Gray’s team that they did not want to pass the messages on to them but were prepared to take them. show the investigators in person.

Angela Rayner said Boris Johnson had to ‘confess’ to what happened in the Downing St flat (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA wire)

But the Cabinet Office said the informant was unwilling to provide the messages or meet in person, so their email exchange was passed on to police once the investigation into Operation Hillman began. .

Police failed to investigate the alleged evening gathering at the flat and, when the aide offered to share the messages with Ms Gray, the Cabinet Office said the investigation was complete.

Deputy Labor leader Angela Rayner said: ‘Less than a week after the publication of the Gray report, it raises serious questions about whether Downing Street has been caught lying again and why the event has not is under investigation.

“The Prime Minister must be frank with the British people.”

The government had already faced questions over another event at the flat later in the year, on November 13, when Ms Johnson allegedly hosted the so-called ‘Abba party’ to celebrate the departure of Dominic Cummings to the sequel to a bitter No. 10. power struggle.

In her report, Ms Gray said she only gathered “limited” evidence about the event when she had to stop due to the police investigation and did not judge ” appropriate or proportionate” to resume after officers conclude their investigation.

Boris Johnson with his wife, Carrie (Jacob King/PA) (PA wire)

More and more Tories in recent days have publicly announced they want a vote of confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership in response to his handling of the No 10 lockdown party revelations.

Under party rules, Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 backbench committee, will be forced to order a vote of confidence if 54 Tory MPs submit a letter requesting one.

More than 20 MPs have publicly stated they want a vote, although it is not clear whether all have written to Sir Graham, while others may have sent a letter without declaring it, making the exact figures difficult to know.

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