Boris Johnson faced a barrage of criticism from his own MPs on Wednesday over his attendance at a Downing Street garden party at the height of lockdown last year.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Johnson acknowledged the public’s “rage” over the party on May 20 2020, but insisted that he thought the event could technically have been within the rules.
He told MPs he went to the gathering for around 25 minutes to “thank groups of staff”, adding that he “believed implicitly that this was a work event”.
Howerver, his apology appears to have done little to quell mounting anger among Tory politicians over the incident, and a number of MPs and MSPs across the nation have called on him to resign.
The prominent call for his resignation came from Douglass Ross, the leader of the Scottish Tories, who said that the Prime Minister’s position was “no longer tenable”. A host of MSPs followed Mr Ross’s lead in calling for Mr Johnson to go.
However, a number of Cabinet ministers also rallied behind the Prime Minister on Wednesday evening to publicly shore up his support.
Below is the full list of Tory MPs who have called on Mr Johnson to stand down so far:
1. Douglas Ross, Leader of the Scottish Tories
“I said, yesterday, if the Prime Minister attended this gathering, event in Downing Street on May 20 2020, he could not continue as Prime Minister so, regretfully, I have to say his position is no longer tenable,” Mr Ross said on Wednesday.
“There was one simple question to answer yesterday, indeed, from Monday night when we saw this invitation which was to more than 100 people asking them to join others in the Downing Street garden and bring their own booze.
“If the Prime Minister was there, and he accepted today that he was, then I felt he could not continue.
“What we also heard from the Prime Minister today was an apology and he said with hindsight he would have done things differently, which for me is an acceptance from the Prime Minister that it was wrong and therefore, I don’t want to be in this position, but I am in this position now, where I don’t think he can continue as leader of the Conservatives.”
2. Ruth Davidson, former leader of the Scottish Tories, currently sitting in the House of Lords
“A tough call. But the right one,” she wrote on Twitter in response to Mr Ross’s statement.
3. William Wragg – MP, vice chairman of the 1922 Committee
Mr Wragg suggested Mr Johnson should take the decision to resign himself. He told the BBC that it was “a tragedy things have come to pass in this way”, adding: “Unfortunately, I wasn’t reassured. I fear this is simply going to be a continuing distraction to the good governance of the country.”
He said it would be “preferable” for Mr Johnson to offer his resignation himself as MPs were “tired” and “frankly worn out of defending what is invariably indefensible”.
“I don’t believe it should be left to the findings of a civil servant to determine the future of the Prime Minister and indeed who governs this country. I think it is for the Conservative Party, if not the Prime Minister, in fact, to make that decision, and to realise what is in the best interest, so that we can move forward both as a party and a country,” he said.
He added that “no doubt the Prime Minister is reflecting deeply on what has happened, but I cannot in all sincerity see a way where these issues go away”.
“It is deeply unfortunate, but I’m afraid it is… the inevitable conclusion is the only way to do that is with a change,” he said.
4. Sir Roger Gale – MP
“I’m sorry, you don’t have ‘bring a bottle’ work events in Downing Street, so far as I’m aware. And you don’t have ‘bring a bottle’ work events that are advertised or invited by the Prime Minister’s private secretary,” he said.
“The Prime Minister said on Dec 8 from the despatch box that he was reliably assured that there were no parties – well, we now know there was at least one party and probably more, and that at least one of them, the one he spent at least 25 minutes at, he attended.
“So he knew there was a party, so he misled the House. He said he believed there were no parties but he attended one – how do you square that circle?”
He added: “I think the time has come for either the Prime Minister to go with dignity as his choice, or for the 1922 Committee to intervene.”
5. Julian Sturdy – MP
Mr Sturdy, the Tory MP for York Outer, said Mr Johnson’s claim he thought the gathering was work-related “will not wash with the British public, who at the relevant time were making significant sacrifices”.
6. Caroline Nokes – MP
Ms Nokes, the MP for Romsey and Southampton North, on Wednesday night become the fourth Tory MP to call for Boris Johnson to resign.
She told ITV’s Peston the PM had “put himself in an impossible position”, and added: “The message I’ve had from my constituents is they feel let down they feel disappointed, and I know how hard they worked through the pandemic to abide by the rules.”
She said: “They now see that the Prime Minister wasn’t in it together with them, that the rules were being broken in Downing Street, and that’s very serious.”
Ms Nokes said she recognised Mr Johnson “did a fantastic job” at the 2019 election, but she said: “Now regretfully, he looks like a liability, and I think he either goes now, or he goes in three years’ time at a general election, and it’s up to the party to decide which way around that’s going to be. I know my thoughts are is that he’s damaging us now.”
7. Miles Briggs – MSP
“It is clear that the Prime Minister’s position is no longer tenable, he has lost the trust of the public, as well as the ability to credibly lead the United Kingdom through the difficult times we all face in the coming weeks, months and years,” he wrote on Twitter.
8. Alexander Burnett – MSP
“I stand by Douglas Ross and support his comments today calling for the PM to resign,” he wrote on Twitter.
9. Donald Cameron – MSP
“And rightly so. I support this call. The Prime Minister should step down,” he wrote on Twitter.
10. Jackson Carlaw – MSP
“People in Eastwood, and across the UK made enormous sacrifices to follow the rules. Given that the PM has now confirmed he attended a rule breaking gathering, he has lost the confidence of the country, so I believe Douglas has made the right call & that the PM should stand down,” he wrote on Twitter.
11. Russell Findlay – MSP
“Good on Douglas Ross for having the principles & guts to stand up for what is right (having done so previously over Dominic Cummings). The rules have been broken while people across the UK made immense sacrifices,” he wrote on Twitter.
12. Maurice Golden – MSP
“People across the North East followed the rules and made hard sacrifices throughout the pandemic. The Prime Minister has lost their trust and that of the country.
“Douglas Ross has made the right call, and the Prime Minister should stand down,” he wrote on Twitter.
13. Meghan Gallacher – MSP
“I fully support Douglas Ross and his calls for Boris Johnson to resign. It is the right call,” she wrote on Twitter.
14. Jamie Halcro Johnston – MSP
“Tackling the Covid pandemic has required everyone to follow the rules. And that begins with those at the top. While the Prime Minister has recognised the anger being felt across the country and apologised, that he hasn’t followed his own rules makes his position untenable,” he wrote on Twitter.
15. Craig Hoy – MSP
“It’s clear that the PM should now go. A line has been crossed. Douglas Ross has been clear, consistent – and he is correct,” he wrote on Twitter.
16. Liam Kerr – MSP
“I support Douglas Ross here. The Prime Minister has lost the trust of the public. He should stand down,” he wrote on Twitter.
17. Stephen Kerr – MSP
“I support what my colleague Douglas Ross said today. Elected members, in particular senior ones, must respect the rules they create,” he wrote on Twitter.
18. Murdo Fraser – MSP
“I fully support Douglas Ross in this call. I’m afraid the Prime Minister’s position is no longer tenable, he has lost public trust, and in the interests of the country and the Conservative Party he should step down,” he wrote on Twitter.
19. Douglas Lumsden – MSP
“Fully support Douglas Ross with this call. Can’t have PM breaking rules when the rest of us were confined to zoom quizzes,” he wrote on Twitter.
20. Liz Smith – MSP
“I note that the media believe Douglas Ross has made a brave call. He has also made the right call,” she wrote on Twitter.
21. Sue Webber – MSP
“Today Douglas Ross took a decision with potentially far reaching impact , I am behind him 100%,” she wrote on Twitter.
22. Annie Wells – MSP
“I support Douglas Ross’s call for the PM to resign. Trust has been broken. Boris Johnson’s position is no longer tenable so, I’m afraid, he must step down in the interest of the country,” she wrote on Twitter.
23. Brian Whittle – MSP
“It’s is clear that Boris Johnston has shown a lack of personal awareness and recognition of the gravity of his poor decision making. It doesn’t matter the colour of your political rosette in this matter. It is time for the Prime Minister to resign” he wrote on Twitter.
24. Edward Mountain – MSP
Retweeted Mr Ross’s statement with a thumbs up.
25. Sharon Dowey – MSP
“Not the easiest decision to make,” she wrote on Twitter above a video of Mr Ross’s statement.
26. Finlay Carson – MSP
Retweeted Mr Ross’s statements
Tory MPs who have voiced support for Mr Johnson:
1. Rishi Sunak, Chancellor
“The PM was right to apologise and I support his request for patience while Sue Gray carries out her enquiry,” he wrote on Twitter.
2. Nadine Dorries, Culture Secretary
“PM was right to personally apologise earlier. People are hurt and angry at what happened and he has taken full responsibility for that. The inquiry should now be allowed to its work and establish the full facts of what happened,” she wrote on Twitter.
3. Liz Truss, Foreign Secretary
“The Prime Minister is delivering for Britain – from Brexit to the booster programme to economic growth. I stand behind the Prime Minister 100 per cent as he takes our country forward,” she said.
4. Dominic Raab, Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister
“I’m fully supportive of this Prime Minister and I’m sure he will continue for many years to come,” he said, adding that it was a “daft question” when asked whether he would run for the Tory leadership.
5. Sajid Javid, Health Secretary
“I completely understand why people feel let down. The PM did the right thing by apologising,” he said.
“Now we need to let the investigation complete its work. We have so much to get on with including rolling out boosters, testing and antivirals – so we can live with Covid.”
6. Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary
“I think the Prime Minister was very contrite today, he apologised and he took full responsibility,” he told Times Radio.
7. Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons
“I think the Prime Minister has got things right again and again and again,” he said.
“But like us all, he accepts that during a two-and-a-half-year period, there will be things that with hindsight would have been done differently.”
8. George Eustice, Environment Secretary
Asked if the Prime Minister will resign if Sue Gray’s report found wrongdoing, Mr Eustice said: “I don’t think we should get ahead of ourselves here. We should take this a step at a time.”
9. Steve Barclay, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
“The PM did the right thing by apologising in Parliament. We should now let the investigation complete its work and I support the PM’s request for patience so that Sue Gray is able to do so,” he said.
10. Therese Coffey, Work and Pensions Secretary
“I agree with Nadine. I was at PMQs today. I saw how sincere the PM was and I know how he has worked tirelessly to tackle coronavirus, striving to protect lives and livelihoods,” she wrote.
11. Nadhim Zahawi, Education Secretary
Retweeted Nadine Dorries’s statement
12. Oliver Dowden, Conservative Party chairman
“Worth watching important apology from PM today. Let’s allow Sue Gray to do her job while we get on with ours – rolling out the vaccine, keeping the economy open and driving jobs recovery,” he wrote.
13. Suella Braverman, Attorney General
“Got Brexit done. World-beating vaccine roll-out. 400,000 more jobs than pre-Covid. Keeping schools open & children learning. Building back better for all. All thanks to the leadership of Boris Johnson,” she wrote.
14. Alok Sharma, COP26 President
“The Prime Minister was right to apologise. We now need to let Sue Gray complete her investigation,” he wrote.