MP says Sue Gray report confirms his view that PM should quit

Peter Aldous, Conservative MP for Waveney

Peter Aldous, Conservative MP for Waveney - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography

Waveney MP Peter Aldous has revealed that he "stands by" his previous calls for prime minister Boris Johnson to resign.

After submitting a letter to the 1922 Committee in February, advising he had no confidence in Mr Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party, Mr Aldous publicly called on the prime minister to resign over the handling of the Partygate scandal.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference in Downing Street, London, following the publication of Sue Gray's report into Downing Street parties in Whitehall during the coronavirus lockdown. - Credit: PA

The Conservative MP said he had made the decision at the time "after a great deal of soul-searching".

Back then, he said: "I fear that trust in our prime minister - who in many ways is quite a remarkable man - has evaporated, and I do fear that it's not going to come back."

Now, after publication of the full, un-redacted 59-page report from civil servant Sue Gray, Mr Aldous reaffirmed his position.

Sue Gray, government lockdown parties.

Sue Gray, who investigated the government lockdown parties. - Credit: PA

With the long-awaited report into Covid lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street blaming senior leadership for a party culture within Number 10 which came about due to a "failure of leadership," Mr Aldous said: "My position is as it has been for the last four or five months."

Of the un-redacted report and the Sue Gray inquiry, Mr Aldous said: "The evidence that has been published highlights some pretty unsavoury incidents and issues - including being dismissive of security staff and cleaners, bringing in karaoke machines, individuals being sick, two individuals involved in a minor altercation, wine spilt on walls and a swing being damaged.

"I am afraid it really did confirm the view I had expressed earlier - and that remains the situation now.

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"I submitted the letter at the beginning of February, it is still there and I stand by that decision today.

"If I wished to withdraw that letter I could, but I have not done that."

With letters confidentially submitted to the chairman of the 1922 Committee of Backbench Conservative MPs, Sir Graham Brady, there is currently no accurate total of how many letters have been handed in.

If the 1922 Committee receives 54 letters of no confidence from Conservative MPs - which equates to at least 15 per cent of Tory MPs - it could trigger a leadership contest

However, the prime minister has shown no sign of resigning.