Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer backs Boris Johnson as Prime Minister gains narrow victory following challenge to his leadership

Boris Johnson will remain in power for the time being after tonight’s (June 6) vote of confidence in his leadership with 211 out of 359 Tory MPs backing the Prime Minister.

By Neil Fatkin
Monday, 6th June 2022, 10:04 pm

However it leaves the Prime Minister in a precarious political position with 148 of his own MPs saying they no longer have confidence in his leadership.

The vote was triggered when at least 54 Tory MPs – 15 per cent - submitted formal letters to the chair of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, Sir Graham Brady, calling for a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

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In a post on social media Ms Mortimer said: “I am currently away from Parliament, but I will be voting by proxy – and let me be clear – I will be voting for Boris to stay.

“As I have consistently stated, mistakes were made in Downing Street during lockdown.

"My households spent lockdown shielding – my son is a carer for disabled adults and so we followed the rules to protect those vulnerable members of society, and I know many of you made similar sacrifices.

“Quite rightly the Prime Minister has apologised and paid the fine issued to him for the party he did attend. However, I have spoken to many people in Hartlepool who, like me, feel that this matter should now be closed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a press conference in Downing Street following the publication of Sue Gray's report into parties in Whitehall during the coronavirus lockdown. Photograph: Leon Neal/PA Wire

“We would not be where we are today without Boris.”

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Sue Gray report condemns Boris Johnson and Government for failings which led to ...

The vote follows a turbulent year for Boris Johnson which saw him fined for being in breach of Covid lockdown rules as part of an investigation into the partygate scandal which saw the Metropolitan Police issue 126 fixed penalty notices for rule breaches in No 10 and Whitehall.

While a number of senior Tories called for the Boris Johnson to resign, it was the publication on May 25 of the Sue Gray report which appears to have been the last straw for many MPs who chose to vote against his leadership.

The official inquiry into the Downing Street partygate affair highlighted “failures of leadership and judgement” by the Prime Minister with the report identifying a series of events that “should not have been allowed to happen".

At a time when the country was under strict lockdown restrictions the report identified staff carrying on drinking in No 10 until the early hours of the morning on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral and Boris Johnson joining five advisers in a "food and alcohol" event in his flat on the evening of the announcement of Dominic Cummings departure.

Other misdemenours included the use of a karaoke machine at a Cabinet Office gathering and that Mr Johnson had brought the cheese and wine from his own flat for the infamous “bring your own booze” garden gathering on May 15 2020.

Addressing Tory MPs before the vote, Mr Johnson had vowed to "lead you to victory again” and warned potential rebels about the dangers of “gratifying our opponents by turning in on ourselves”.