Boris Johnson’s ex-chief whip Mark Harper demands he QUITS as he issues another grovelling apology over Partygate
BORIS Johnson’s grovelling Partygate apology was overshadowed yesterday by a top Tory urging him to quit.
In a scathing attack in the Commons, former chief whip Mark Harper told the PM he was “no longer worthy of the great office he holds”.Mark Harper wrote: ‘Our party still has so much to offer the country, but sadly not under Mr Johnson’s leadership’[/caption] The PM faces another crucial test tomorrow when MPs will vote on whether to formally investigate him for ‘misleading Parliament’ over lockdown parties in No10[/caption] Mr Harper’s letter was addressed to Sir Graham Brady, the Chairman of the 1922 Committee[/caption]
He wrote: “Our party still has so much to offer the country, but sadly not under Mr Johnson’s leadership.”
The PM faces another crucial test tomorrow when MPs will vote on whether to formally investigate him for “misleading Parliament” over lockdown parties in No10.
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In a crunch day for his leadership yesterday, the ashen-faced PM said he was “in all humility” sorry for being whacked with a £50 fine.
He pleaded to be forgiven and allowed to get on with tackling the cost-of-living crisis and taking the fight to Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.
Mr Johnson said: “I paid the fine immediately and offered the British people a full apology.
“And I take this opportunity, on the first available sitting day, to repeat my wholehearted apology to the House.”
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He said he accepts the “hurt and anger” families feel and added: “I in no way minimise the importance of this fine.”
He said he had no idea — then or now — that he had broken lockdown rules when he turned up to an impromptu gathering in the Cabinet Room on June 19, 2020, for his 56th birthday.
But his fightback hit the buffers when Mr Harper said his actions were indefensible.
The Forest of Dean MP told the Commons: “I regret to say that we have a Prime Minister who broke the laws that he told the country they had to follow, hasn’t been straightforward about it and is now going to ask the decent men and women on these benches to defend what I think is indefensible.
“I’m very sorry to have to say this, but I no longer think he is worthy of the great office that he holds.”
Mr Harper, who has long been a thorn in the PM’s side and led backbenchers in opposing the strictest lockdown rules, was a lone voice among his party’s MPs.
Tory backbenchers queued up to say the PM has shown “repentance” and should be “forgiven”.
But Labour called for his head. Leader Sir Keir Starmer called the apology “mealy-mouthed” and a joke, raging: “He knows he’s dishonest and incapable of changing. So he drags everybody else down with him.”
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Labour are calling a vote tomorrow — while the PM is on a trip to India — accusing Mr Johnson of lying to Parliament. Last night, he scrambled to shore up support by meeting all his MPs and peers, when he repeated his apology.
Cabinet Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said Mr Johnson “did not knowingly mislead” the country but simply “made a mistake”.Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer called Boris Johnson’s apology ‘mealy-mouthed’ and a joke[/caption]
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