OUTGOING Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘lost the trust’ of too many respected colleagues and it has been impossible for Tory MPs to ‘defend the indefensible’.
That’s the scathing verdict of Malvern’s MP Harriett Baldwin who has revealed she submitted a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister to the Conservative Party’s 1922 committee chairman Sir Graham Brady this week.
Speaking after the Prime Minister announced yesterday (Thursday) he had agreed to stand down as party leader, Mrs Baldwin welcomed his decision but said it had become impossible for MPs to defend the indefensible ‘when not given a straight answer’.
The West Worcestershire MP, who backed Mr Johnson’s former leadership rival Jeremy Hunt, acknowledged the Prime Minister ‘made the big calls right’ and delivered on his pledge to Get Brexit Done and defeat former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“However, he has lost the trust of too many respected colleagues and it has been impossible to defend the indefensible when not given a straight answer,” she said.
Mrs Baldwin wrote to Sir Graham on Tuesday (July 5) after publication of a letter from Lord McDonald which alleged Downing Street was ‘still not telling the truth’ about allegations of inappropriate behaviour against MP Chris Pincher.
The former British diplomat who served at the Foreign Office from 2015 to 2020, claimed the Prime Minister was notified ‘in person’ in 2019 about a formal complaint against Mr Pincher, who was kicked out of the Tory party last week over allegations of groping.
After initially briefing the press the Prime Minister ‘wasn’t aware’ of the allegations, Number 10 then said Mr Johnson was aware but had ‘forgotten’ and went on to appoint Mr Pincher as deputy chief whip.
“As I never served as a minister in the current Government I have not been in a position to resign from anything, but when Lord McDonald published his letter about Chris Pincher, I fed my views in to the usual channels including Sir Graham Brady,” Mrs Baldwin said.
Speaking on Wednesday (July 6) before the Prime Minister’s announcement, Evesham’s and sports minister MP Nigel Huddleston said he was ‘very sorry’ to see ministers leave office as they had contributed so much.
“I have a responsibility to serve my constituents to the best of my abilities, while also in my ministerial role helping the sectors I oversee, such as tourism and sport as they recover from the pandemic,” he said.
“I am focussed on delivering major international sporting events including the Women’s EUROs which start today and the Commonwealth Games which start in just 22 days time.