'Boris Johnson must resign' says Kenilworth and Southam MP Jeremy Wright

Kenilworth and Southam MP Jeremy Wright is the latest Tory to add his name to those calling for Boris Johnson to resign.

Today (Monday) the former Conservative attorney general said that he come to his decision 'with regret' and after many days considering the facts, following the publication of the Sue Gray report into parties at 10 Downing Street during lockdowns.

He said that although, in his opinion, there is still not enough evidence to suggest that the Prime Minister misled Parliament, he believes that the 'Partygate' scandal has had a 'corrosive effect' on the Conservative Party and that Mr Johnson must take some responsibility for the 'tone' he has set in Downing Street.

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Mr Wright said: "If leadership is in part about setting the right tone for the organisation you lead, the tone represented by the routine disregard for the spirit, and often the letter of the Covid rules which Sue Gray describes betrayed at best a casual and at worst a contemptuous attitude to the sacrifices made and distress felt by the many who observed rigorously both spirit and letter of those rules.

Kenilworth and Southam MP Jeremy Wright is the latest Tory to add his name to those calling for Boris Johnson to resign.

"I find it impossible to accept that the Prime Minister does not bear some personal responsibility for that tone."

He also fears that this may have "real and lasting damage to the reputation not just of this Government but to the institutions and authority of Government more generally."

Mr Wright added: "That matters because it is sadly likely that a Government will again need to ask the citizens of this country to follow rules it will be difficult to comply with and to make sacrifices which will be hard to bear, in order to serve or preserve the greater good.

"The collective consequences of those citizens declining to do so may again be severe. It is of fundamental importance then that, as and when those circumstances occur again, people are willing to do as their Government asks them to.

"There can be no more central or significant duty of the Prime Minister’s office in Downing Street than to support and enhance the effectiveness of Government policy at times of crisis, in a country where we are broadly governed by consent.

"What we now know happened in Downing Street during months of Covid restrictions imposed by Government policy makes that consent less likely, as many will say that if senior Government officials don’t keep to the rules, why should I?

"Putting that right matters hugely to the essence of Government authority and to the effectiveness of Government policy, and I cannot see that the moving on of civil servants or apologies, however heartfelt, will succeed in doing so.

"Accountability and restoring faith in good Government require something more, both to safeguard future public compliance with Government instructions when it counts, and to allow the present Government to deliver the important legislation it has introduced, including vital changes to social care funding, energy security and online regulation.

"It now seems to me that the Prime Minister remaining in office will hinder those crucial objectives. I have therefore, with regret, concluded that, for the good of this and future Governments, the Prime Minister should resign."

Click here to read his full statement.