Tory MP Peter Aldous calls for prime minister Boris Johnson to resign

peter aldous

Peter Aldous has called on Boris Johnson to resign. - Credit: Jamie Honeywood

Conservative MP Peter Aldous has publicly called on prime minister Boris Johnson to resign.

In a statement, the Waveney MP highlighted that he has 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. 

It comes as an update on the Sue Gray report, published on January 30, detailed how there was 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".

Mr Aldous said: "It is now my belief that the prime minister should resign.

"However, it is clear that at present he has no intention of doing so and I have therefore written to the chairman of the 1922 Committee of Backbench Conservative MPs, advising him that I have no confidence in the prime minister as leader of the Conservative Party. 

"I have never taken such action before. I have made this decision after a great deal of thought and soul searching and I had hoped that I would not be placed in such an invidious position.

"Whilst I am conscious that others will disagree with me, I believe that this is in the best interests of the country, the government and the Conservative Party."

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Mr Aldous continued: "Last month in responding to constituents, I acknowledged the widespread anger about these events.

"Many constituents outlined how they themselves had made enormous sacrifices when lockdown restrictions were in place. They are entitled to expect those making the rules to adhere to them as well. 

"In my initial response to constituents, I commented that if the prime minister was found to have misled parliament he should resign.

"At this stage, it cannot be stated that he has done this, though some are focusing on the gatherings of November 30, 2020 with this allegation in mind. 

"Similarly I commented that if the prime minister faced criminal sanction, then he should resign. With the Metropolitan Police investigation taking place, this has not happened. 

"The prime minister has many attributes, one of which used to be the large groundswell of support he generated across the whole of society.

"I fear that based on the feedback that I am receiving that this has dissipated, that many question his integrity and that it will be very difficult for him to regain this trust."

Mr Aldous said the ongoing investigation would continue to be a "major distraction" for the government, highlighting the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the rising cost of living and the pandemic recovery as key issues to tackle.

He said: "Until now, I have referred to Sue Gray’s inquiry and the need to await its outcome before reaching a final conclusion, though I expressed the opinion that I could not see how the report could exonerate the prime minister and alleviate public anger.

"Some might take the view that we should await the outcome of the police investigation and the publication of Sue Gray’s full unredacted report.

"My concern with this approach is that it would in effect “kick the can down the road”, there is no knowing as to when the police will complete their investigations and we do not know for certain as to the form in which the report will be published.

"During this time, the issue would continue to be a major distraction for the government.

"In such a situation, I believe that the government will not be able to properly focus on the wide ranging and very serious challenges that the UK faces.

"I acknowledge the disruption that would be caused by a change of leadership that will probably take some two to three months to complete, though I take the view that on balance this is the preferred course to pursue, though I accept that it is highly unsatisfactory."

No. 10 has been contacted for comment.