PM's departure 'in best interests of country and party' - Waveney MP

boris johnson peter aldous

Waveney MP Peter Aldous repeated his call for Boris Johnson to step aside - Credit: PA/Archant

Waveney MP Peter Aldous said the Sue Gray report has helped fellow MPs reach the same conclusions as himself about the Prime Minister's future.

Conservative MPs will have their say on Boris Johnson this evening after triggering a confidence vote in their leader.

Mr Aldous submitted his vote of no confidence back in February.

Speaking ahead of this evening's ballot, he said: "I reached my own conclusion about this matter at the beginning of February and, with a lot of regret, I put in a letter to Sir Graham Brady and I asked for the prime minister to resign.

"I don't do that lightly and I think the reason behind that was that the vast majority of people were abiding by the rules during the lockdown and it was wrong and inappropriate that those setting the rules weren't adhering to them.

"And that came out very much loud and clear and it was a view others disagreed with me on and I respect that.

"But I concluded that it wasn't the right way to conduct oneself and I felt it would be better and in everyone's interests for the prime minister to resign. 

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"That was the conclusion that I reached then.

"A lot of my colleagues, and I quite understand it, said 'no, we will wait until the Sue Gray report is published in full'.

"I think, having read that evidence, a number of MPs have reached the same conclusion that I did.

"They were mindful and respected that it was not appropriate to do this during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and so they have waited until after they have been concluded and that is why we are where we are this morning.

"They say a week is a long time in politics and so who knows what is going to happen and what is around the corner? But certainly I believe it is in the best interests of the country and the Conservative Party if the prime minister, who has an awful lot of attributes, steps aside. That is the conclusion that I have reached."

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, said in a statement: “The threshold of 15pc of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded.

“In accordance with the rules, a ballot will be held between 6pm and 8pm today.

“The votes will be counted immediately afterwards."

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “Tonight is a chance to end months of speculation and allow the Government to draw a line and move on, delivering on the people’s priorities.

“The PM welcomes the opportunity to make his case to MPs and will remind them that when they’re united and focused on the issues that matter to voters there is no more formidable political force.”