They think it’s all over…it’s not yet
As Boris Johnson clings to power how much support does he have among our local MPs?
By Natalie Bloomer
It seemed almost impossible for the embattled prime minister to cling on to power another day and yet at the time of going to press that is exactly what Boris Johnson is doing.
As one resignation letter after another came flooding in yesterday, support for the prime minister from across the Conservative Party seemed to be slipping away. However, with him insisting he is going nowhere there are still a few MPs who remain loyal to him.
Today we take a look at the stance our local representatives in parliament are taking.
On Tuesday Northampton North MP and paymaster general Michael Ellis was ridiculed after once again being sent out to defend Johnson in the Commons, this time over what he knew about allegations against Chris Pincher.
After No 10 previously denied the prime minister was aware of specific allegations before making Pincher deputy chief whip, it was later revealed that this wasn’t the case. During an urgent question about it in parliament, Ellis said that Johnson ‘did not immediately recall’ being told about the investigation into Pincher.
“Last week, when fresh allegations arose, the prime minister did not immediately recall the conversation in late 2019 about this incident. As soon as he was reminded, the press office corrected their public line,” he said.
By yesterday pressure was mounting on the PM and Ellis appeared to be the only MP in West Northants still supporting him.
While Johnson faced a humiliating grilling by the Commons Liaison Committee yesterday afternoon, the BBC was reporting that a delegation of ministers including the Daventry MP and chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris were waiting inside No 10 to tell him it was time to go.
He is also thought to have lost the support of South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom who has previously criticised him over the partygate scandal and the Northampton South MP Andrew Lewer tweeted yesterday that ‘the PM must resign’.
A number of West Northamptonshire Conservative party councillors have also tweeted about the need for Johnson to go.
It appears to be a different story in the North of the county. Staunch Johnson loyalist Corby’s Tom Pursglove who is also a Home Office minister remained quiet while many other ministers from across government resigned yesterday.
Meanwhile, Johnson’s ever reliable cheerleader Peter Bone was back on the airwaves Wednesday afternoon still insisting that his constituents in Wellingborough don’t care about the many scandals the PM has found himself embroiled in.
It was also reported that Bone branded the BBC the ‘Boris Bashing Corporation’ during an interview. That is despite the fact Johnson’s demise was being covered by all the main news websites and TV programmes and even newspapers which were previously supportive of him were admitting his time was up.
As the day went on and it became clear that Johnson had lost the backing of many in his cabinet, NN Journal tried to contact Bone to see if he was still supporting him. He answered our call but once we told him who was calling and why, the line went dead.
We also tried to contact Kettering MP Philip Hollobone but did not receive a response. Last month he told the Northants Telegraph he had supported the PM in a confidence vote because a leadership contest would be ‘harmful’ to the country.
Johnson is now arguing that he has a mandate by the British people to run the country. Whether he will continue to do so for much longer remains to be seen.