Another Conservative MP has submitted a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson, making him the 28th Tory to publicly call for him to go over the partygate scandal.
John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle, said he has been “deeply disappointed” in the rule-breaking parties at Number 10 and Mr Johnson’s response to parliament.
He said he has called for the PM to put himself forward for a vote of confidence to “draw a line” under the issue but said Mr Johnson appears unwilling to, so he has “taken the appropriate action” to get a vote of confidence to take place.
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“The continuing criticism, revelations and questions are debilitating for the government at a time when there are so many other important and critical issues to be addressed,” he added.
Mr Stevenson, who is also a lawyer, became an MP in 2010 and is seen as a moderate within the Conservative Party.
Letters of no confidence are handed into Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers.
A total of 54 letters – 15% of Tory MPs – must be submitted for a leadership vote to take place and only Sir Graham knows exactly how many have been handed in.
There has been a steady trickle of MPs expressing their displeasure in the PM since he was fined by the Met Police in April for attending his birthday gathering.
But since the Sue Gray report into lockdown breaking parties was published last Wednesday that has turned into more of a stream, with a growing number of former cabinet ministers joining the calls.
The development came shortly after Dame Andrea Leadsom, the former cabinet minister, condemned Mr Johnson’s “unacceptable failings of leadership” over the partygate scandal.
The former business secretary was the 40th Conservative MP to have questioned Mr Johnson’s position as prime minister since he was fined by the Met Police for breaching lockdown rules in Downing Street, according to a Sky News tally.
Dame Andrea sent a letter to her South Northamptonshire constituents on Monday, in which she said that after careful study of the Sue Gray report into partygate “it is painfully clear to me that given the extent and severity of rule-breaking taking place over a 20-month period, it is extremely unlikely that senior leaders were unaware of what was going on”.