Boris Johnson is now facing the gravest peril of his premiership. His disastrous interview yesterday in which he insisted no one had told him the Downing Street party was in breach of lockdown rules (which he came up with), has stoked public anger. A rising number of Conservative MPs have broken cover to publicly join calls for the PM to go, amid rising concern about what Johnson's survival means for their electoral prospects. So will the threshold of 54 Tory MPs – the number needed to trigger a vote of no confidence in Boris – be reached today? Mr S will be keeping tabs below...
1. Sir Roger Gale MP: 'Enough is enough, a red line has been crossed'
2. Will Wragg MP: 'A series of unforced errors are deeply damaging to the perception of the party. The Prime Minister's position is untenable.'
3. Douglas Ross MP: 'I don't want to be in this position, but I am in this position now, where I don't think he can continue as leader of the Conservatives.'
4. Caroline Nokes MP: ‘He’s damaging us now, he’s damaging the entire Conservative brand’
5. Andrew Bridgen MP: 'With a heavy heart, I must inform you I have submitted my letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister'
6. Tim Loughton MP: 'I have regretfully come to the conclusion that Boris Johnson’s position is now untenable, that his resignation is the only way to bring this whole unfortunate episode to an end and I am working with colleagues to impress that view on Number 10.'
7. David Davis MP: 'I expect my leaders to shoulder responsibility for the actions they take. Yesterday, he did the opposite of that. So I will remind him of a quotation altogether too familiar to him of Leo Amery to Neville Chamberlain: 'You have sat there too long for all the good you have done. In the name of God — go'.'
The Tory MPs who have gone on the record to criticise the PM:
Tom Tugendhat: ‘What we are learning is that there is a pattern of behaviour that is undermining the efforts of those in healthcare and science, and across our community, to keep us safe. This is now distracting from the urgent work we need to fix our country after the destruction the Covid pandemic has brought to all of us. We need this to change. Now.’
Tobias Ellwood: ‘This sort of behaviour shouldn’t be conducted at any time, let alone during a lockdown.’
Bob Neill: ‘We cannot have one rule for those working in government and a different one for the rest of the population.’
Maria Caulfield, health minister: ‘It is clear that there was a culture inside No 10 where even if rules were not technically broken, the spirit of the rules were, and this is completely unacceptable.’
Guy Opperman, pensions minister: He said Boris Johnson’s behaviour was ‘unacceptable’
Stephen Hammond: ‘There is no justification for anyone breaking the rules.’
Iain Duncan Smith: ‘This is unforgivable.’
Jeremy Wright: ‘I share the widespread disappointment in the way the prime minister has handled this matter. This is therefore a very serious situation and questions about the prime minister’s ability to stay in office are legitimate.’
Daniel Poulter: ‘(The Prime Minister’s apology) is not much consolation to those of us who cared for patients on the frontline of the NHS and saw them die of Covid.’
Robert Goodwill: ‘This is a rapidly evolving situation and I am sure that over the next few weeks some fairly tough decisions will have to be made.’
Robert Syms: ‘Like my colleague Tim Loughton, I am considering whether or not I ought to put in a letter. I’ve had emails from what I would call Christian, decent, honest, honourable types of Tory voters, who say they feel embarrassed about voting Conservative with Boris Johnsons.’
Mike Penning: ‘There cannot be one rule for them and another for the rest of us. It shows a dreadful lack of judgement’
John Penrose: ‘The Prime Minister was right to apologise for attending a staff event in the Downing Street garden, but I am afraid there are still a good many questions which remain to be answered.’
Mark Logan: ‘I’m infuriated by the reports of the No 10 social gathering, like many of you who’ve taken the time to contact me this week. In government the prime minister sets the culture and example for the rest of the country.’
Ian Levy: ‘I understand the real anger at reports that those in power were not abiding by the rules. The public deserves better than this.’
Simon Fell: ‘I know of so many of my constituents suffered far, far more in their lives…a belated apology is thin gruel to them.’
Antony Higginbotham: ‘I am as angry and disappointed as you are. This whole saga has damaged trust in politics’
Julie Marson: ‘I am appalled that events were held at No 10 Downing Street during a time when we were all under severe restrictions.’
Robert Largan: ‘I will not defend the indefensible. We cannot have a situation where it is one rule for politicians and another rule for everyone else.’
Ben Spencer: ‘The Prime Minister has set out his explanation, which is that he believed at the time it was a work event. I struggle with this.’
Chris Loder: ‘With revelations concerning Downing Street parties over the last two years at its height, I’d like you to know that I and most of my colleagues feel deeply embarrassed and humiliated by such revelations.’
Greg Smith: ‘I listened carefully to the prime minister’s explanation at PMQs this afternoon about the May 20, 2020 ‘bring-your-own-booze’ party. On reflection, I am not sure it helped his case.’
Lee Anderson: ‘Personally, I would not back anyone who has knowingly done wrong.’
Danny Kruger: ‘Lifelong Conservative voters have decided they cannot vote for us again while Boris Johnson is leader. It is a very bad moment when so many people like this lose faith in a Conservative Prime Minister.’
Paul Howell: ‘In a democracy, nobody is above the law, and those who make the rules cannot retain credibility if they are found to have broken the rules themselves.’
Robin Millar: ‘The mood (among MPs) is not impressed. Really, really not impressed by this…it’s just not a good thing and the hurt and the distress and the damage that’s caused is considerable.’
Anthony Browne: ‘I do understand that many people remain furious about these events, as do I. It goes without saying that those who make the rules must abide by them, and those who break the rules should face appropriate sanctions. Clearly there is a big cultural problem in No 10.’
11. Miles Briggs MSP
12. Alex Burnett MSP
16. Rachael Hamilton MSP
17. Liam Kerr MSP
18. Douglas Lumsden MSP
19. Sue Webber MSP
20. Annie Wells MSP
25. Jamie Greene MSP
Anne Marie-Morris MP has confirmed she submitted a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson prior to having the Tory whip withdrawn in January 2022.