The Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, Bob Neill has become the fifth conservative MP to call on the prime minister to resign since the publication of the Gray report on Wednesday.
Sir Bob is a long standing Chair of the Commons Justice Select Committee.
There are now 25 Conservative MPs, from a total of 358, who have openly called for the prime minister to resign.
In a statement released on Mr Neill’s website, he said, “Since the start of this episode, I have been very clear that I would wait for the conclusion of any police investigation and the publication of Sue Gray’s full report before making a judgment. My years as a lawyer have taught me not to come to conclusions without the fullest possible evidence ”.
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Continuing Mr Neill writes, “I have listened carefully to the explanations the Prime Minister has given, in Parliament and elsewhere, and, regrettably, do not find his assertions to be credible. That is why, with a heavy heart, I submitted a letter of no confidence to Sir Graham Brady on Wednesday afternoon ”.
“Trust is the most important commodity in politics, but these events have undermined trust in not just the office of the Prime Minister, but in the political process itself. To rebuild that trust and move on, a change in leadership is required ”.
Mr Neill, who was first elected to parliament in a 2006 by-election, backed Michael Gove in the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election.
Although five fresh MPs have been called for the prime minister to quit since Wednesday, all these MPs were listed as ones who were showing ‘signs of concern’ for the PM, on politics.co.uk’s list.
None of the MPs who were ‘lying low’ or who were previously supportive of Mr Johnson appear as of yet to have turned against the PM. Thus whilst there are almost certainly enough MPs hostile to Boris Johnson to call a ‘vote of no confidence’, it is still far from clear that the numbers exist to remove the prime minister.
The majority of the MPs who have so far openly called for the PM to go are older Conservative MPs. As of today the prime minister seems to enjoy more support from those Conservative MPs first elected in 2019, particularly for so called ‘red wall’ seats in the north of England.
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