When reports of rule-breaking by those working in government emerged, the Prime Minister asked that we judge him on the facts and this is what I said I would do. We now know that the Metropolitan Police has (so far) issued over 50 fines for criminal offences committed at the heart of government, including by the Prime Minister. In paying his fine, the Prime Minister has accepted the police’s verdict that he broke the law.
We live in a country where those in charge have to obey the same laws as everyone else. People across the Forest of Dean made enormous, sometimes heart-breaking, sacrifices to comply with Covid laws. For the Prime Minister to break the very laws that he instructed the British public to follow, often at great personal cost, is indefensible.
Further, now that we know the Prime Minister did break the law and that there was systemic law breaking in 10 Downing Street, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he has misled Parliament. I have regrettably reached the conclusion that I no longer have confidence in Boris Johnson’s leadership of the Conservative and Unionist Party.
A great many constituents have contacted me expressing support and thanks for the position I have adopted and I am grateful for this. Others have disagreed with me and I completely respect this too – at a time of international tension, when defending our values has scarcely been more important, I welcome that we live in a democracy in which people can take different views from me.
I have formally submitted a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister to Sir Graham Brady MP, the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, the committee of backbench Conservative MPs. This was not an easy decision for me – I have been a member of the Conservative Party since I was 17 years old and will remain in the Party I love until my dying day. I wanted Boris Johnson to succeed, but above anything else I will always stand up for what I believe is right for my constituents, our country and my Party.