Tories support Peter Aldous over calls for Boris Johnson to resign
- Credit: Archant/Danielle Booden/Suffolk County Council
Grassroots conservatives across east Suffolk and Waveney have shown their support for MP Peter Aldous after he called for prime minister Boris Johnson to resign.
On Tuesday, February 1, Mr Aldous revealed he had written to the chairman of the 1922 Committee of Backbench Conservative MPs, advising him that he has no confidence in Mr Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party.
Part of Sue Gray's report was published on Monday and its conclusions found a "failure of leadership in No 10 and the Cabinet Office", "serious failure to observe high standards", "excessive consumption of alcohol" and "behaviour difficult to justify".
Grassroots conservative councillors across Waveney and East Suffolk have come out in support of Mr Aldous, describing him as a "principled" man, working for the best interests of his constituents.
Edward Back, conservative councillor for Oulton in Lowestoft, said that Boris Johnson's leadership and the current scandals are a distraction from domestic and international crises.
Mr Back said: "Boris Johnson has done a lot of good things for the country since taking over as prime minister.
"But to say one thing to the public and then do the complete opposite is not fair.
"I don't think we would be in this position if the prime minister had put his hands up earlier, taken ownership over the scandal and apologised for it.
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"What's happened now is that Boris Johnson's various scandals are now distracting government, the media and the wider public about other crises such as domestic problems with inflation and rising living costs, as well as tensions in eastern Europe between Russia and Ukraine.
"I respect Peter for his decision and he has put his head above the parapet."
Mr Back said a leadership contest would possibly be needed to heal the wounds following on from the partygate scandal.
"While I believe we should reserve judgement until the full Sue Gray and Metropolitan police report is published, a leadership challenge as suggested by Peter could heal the country even though in the short-term this may distract from other issues," he said.
"So many people followed the rules but the government flouted them.
"People have been let down, they sacrificed seeing loved ones and many had to bury dead relatives and friends with limited numbers.
"I feel let down, we all followed the rules and the chaos which has occurred at national level would never happen at local level.
"In terms of how constituents feel it is mixed. Boris is like marmite. You either love him or hate him.
"Yes he is charismatic but a leader must be trusted as well and Mr Johnson has evaded the truth.
"I'm incredibly sad that it has come to this."
Judy Cloke, conservative councillor for Bungay, respected Peter Aldous's decision.
"I respect Peter's decision. He is a principled and straight-forward thinking MP who represents the best interests of his constituents," she said.
"However, I think the prospect of a conservative leadership election would bring about more political turmoil.
"So on the whole I am on the fence with the situation because I definitely see where Peter is coming from.
"Talking to constituents in Bungay, they either think Boris is great or just not in control of the situation.
"His scattergun approach to leadership has not helped, as well as allowing excessive drinking to take place in the workplace."
Conservative councillor for Gunton, James Reeder, said that backbenchers like Peter Aldous have been placed in a difficult decision by the government.
He said: "Backbenchers like Peter have been placed in a very difficult position by this government because of all the political noise surrounding this scandal.
"Undoubtedly there is so much grassroots opposition among constituents to Boris Johnson and the current government.
"Peter is acting as any MP should and is representing his constituents best interests.
"All I would say on the matter is that individuals in positions of power or leadership should respect the authority and responsibility which comes with serving as prime minister."