Two Lincolnshire Conservative MPs on the 1922 Committee could help decide the fate of Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister continues to face scrutiny over alleged government parties.
Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, is investigating 17 gatherings which allegedly took place in either Downing Street or other government departments during the coronavirus pandemic. Although she has no power to give out punishments, if the report reveals any rules were broken the committee could be important for the future of the Prime Minister.
This comes after a leaked email obtained by ITV News previously showed that around 100 people had been invited to a party, on the very same day minister Oliver Dowden reminded the nation during government’s daily press briefing that they were only allowed to meet in pairs outdoors.
Downing Street recently admitted staff gathered with Boris Johnson inside Number 10 to wish him a happy birthday during the first COVID lockdown on June 19, 2020. Rules at the time banned most indoor gatherings involving more than two people.
MPs are still waiting to see the findings of the report as the PM faces increased pressure. Lincoln MP Karl McCartney and Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers are executive members of the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs and could play a big part in deciding whether Boris remains in Downing Street, or a leadership contest takes place to choose a new Tory leader.
The 1922 Committee, also known as “the 22” is a committee of backbench Conservative MPs that meets weekly when the Commons is sitting. Mr Vickers told BBC Look North: “I despair of the fact that he appears to have attended some events which should not have taken place.
“If a percentage of the parliamentary party, based on the current numbers, that’s 54, write letters to the chairman asking for a vote of confidence in the leader then it’s up to the executive to organise that election.”
Mr McCartney has previously said he was not in attendance at alleged Downing Street parties during lockdown, and confirmed he still backs the Prime Minister as pressure continues to mount.
Meanwhile, Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh appeared to defend the Prime Minister when he called for a “sense of proportion” on the controversy surrounding Boris Johnson’s birthday – and Grimsby’s MP Lia Nici has backed him to stay in his job.
When Europe stands on the brink of war and with a cost of living crisis, can we please have a sense of proportion over the Prime Minister being given a piece of cake in his own office by his own staff. pic.twitter.com/ILjXLZAMgD
— Sir Edward Leigh MP (@EdwardLeighMP) January 25, 2022
The Metropolitan Police has now opened an investigation into a number of events at Downing Street and Whitehall in relation to potential breaches of COVID regulations.