Thu, 7 July 2022 at 10:51 am
A senior Tory MP has told Yahoo News UK they fear more scandals will emerge if Boris Johnson remains as prime minister for the coming months.
In his resignation speech on Thursday, Johnson said he planned to stay in power under his successor is elected.
His comments have been greeted with dismay among Tory MPs, who fear Johnson’s continued presence will either leave a government in limbo or cause even further damage to the party.
Although not timeline is set, it is unlikely a new leader will be in place before October.
Senior Tory MP Andrew Bridgen criticised Johnson’s resignation speech and said the party should look to force him from office as soon as possible.
“It [the speech] was just so Johnson”, Bridgen told Yahoo News UK.
“No contrition, no apology, no humility. It wasn’t an apology.
“I think we’re going to have compress the new selection for the leader process so that Boris Johnson remains in No 10 for the shortest possible time.
“I’m relieved, I’m also disappointed it took the rest of the party seven months that I came to the conclusion I came to in January.
“He remains an existential threat to the Conservative party… and I’m concerned that there is time for more scandals the longer he’s there.”
Johnson’s decision to delay his departure has been met with fury from politicians across the political spectrum.
Labour have threatened to call a vote of no confidence if he does remain, with Sir Keir Starmer saying Conservatives should not “inflict” someone they deem to be “unfit” for office on the country.
Kwasi Kwarteng – one of Johnson’s remaining ministers – led the calls for him to go, saying: “We now need a new leader as soon as practicable. Someone who can rebuild trust, heal the country, and set out a new, sensible and consistent economic approach to help families.”
Tory MP George Freeman said: “Boris Johnson needs to hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty & advise her to call for a caretaker prime minister… to take over today so that ministers can get back to work & we can choose a new Conservative leader to try & repair the damage & rebuild trust.”
Labour’s Chris Bryant said: “Some are talking of Johnson remaining till October or November. That’s completely unsustainable. It’s dangerous for the UK.”
Labour MP Ian Lavery tweeted: “I seriously worry about Boris Johnson’s departure date. What decisions he could make between now and then could hugely impact on the the nation.
“If he resigns today he should be gone today.”
Nevertheless, Johnson has plowed on with ministerial appointments, naming James Cleverly as the new education secretary, Greg Clark as the new levelling up secretary, and Robert Buckland as the new Welsh Secretary.
Why isn’t he going now?
Boris Johnsonhas confirmed he will stay until a new leader is place – despite calls for him to go.
Before he u-turned and agreed to step down, sources claimed he believed he still had the mandate from the British people from the general election in 2019.
Johnson referenced that majority when he announced his resignation on Thursday, and said resisted those calls as he felt is “was his job, duty and obligation” to remain under the mandate he was given.
Johnson said his arguments to stay in power were rejected due to a “herd instinct” at Westminster and said it was “painful” not to be able to deliver on his plans.
He said: “In the last few days, I tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate and when we’re actually only a handful of points behind in the polls, even in midterm after quite a few months of pretty relentless sledging and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally.
“I regret not to have been successful in those arguments and of course it’s painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself.
“But as we’ve seen, at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves.
“And my friends in politics, no one is remotely indispensable and our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader, equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times.”
Can he be kicked out?
Long story short, no.
Although a large portion of his party have publicly called for him to go – and go now – the possibility ultimately lies with the 1922 Committee.
Current 1922 Committee rules mean he cannot face another vote of no confidence for another year.
However Westminster rumours have claimed there is movement within the group to hold a vote to change that rule.
If he loses such a vote, then he would be removed as leader.