The prime minister’s anti-corruption tsar has resigned over Boris Johnson’s response to the Sue Grey report into partygate – and can vote for him to go tonight.
John Penrose despatched his resignation letter to the PM simply hours after it was introduced a confidence vote in Mr Johnson’s leadership will happen between 6pm and 8pm right now.
The MP for Weston-super-Mare has been the UK’s anti-corruption champion on the Residence Workplace since 2017 however mentioned he may not be in his submit as Mr Johnson had not addressed the “failures of management and judgment” Ms Grey mentioned had taken place over lockdown-breaking events in Downing Avenue.
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He mentioned Mr Johnson has due to this fact breached “a basic precept of the Ministerial Code – a transparent resigning matter” however mentioned the PM’s letter to Lord Geidt, the PM’s impartial adviser on the code, “ignores this positively central, non-negotiable problem fully”.
Mr Penrose confirmed to Sky Information he will probably be voting in opposition to the PM this night and mentioned that is “the start of the tip”.
“I feel it is over [for the PM], it feels prefer it’s when not if,” he instructed Sky Information.
“He may get a thumping victory this night however it seems like the start of the tip.”
Mr Penrose earlier tweeted: “I am sorry to must resign because the PM’s anti-corruption tsar however, after his reply final week in regards to the ministerial code, it is fairly clear he has damaged it.
“That is a resigning matter for me, and it needs to be for the PM too.”
In his letter, he mentioned he would “at all times be grateful” to the PM for “getting Brexit carried out”, for the 2019 election victory and for getting the UK out of COVID lockdown.
“However I hope you’ll perceive that none of those can excuse or justify a basic breach of the Ministerial Code,” he wrote.
Mr Penrose is an influential MP and is married to Conservative peer and businesswoman Dido Harding, who ran the UK’s COVID check and hint programme.
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His name for Mr Johnson to go got here after one other senior MP, former Treasury minister Jesse Norman revealed in a damning letter he had submitted a no confidence letter within the PM and can vote in opposition to him this night.
Mr Norman’s spouse is Kate Bingham, who was chargeable for the profitable rollout of the COVID vaccine, which Mr Johnson regularly mentions for example of optimistic choices he has made.
Different Conservative MPs who’ve revealed they’ll vote to oust the PM embody former well being and tradition secretary Jeremy Hunt, Guildford MP Angela Richardson and former transport minister and ex-vice chair of the Conservative Social gathering Andrew Jones.