July 8, 2022 4.41 pm This story is over 23 months old

“Good riddance” vs “what a shame”: Opinion in Grimsby divided on PM resignation

Northern Lincolnshire MPs have also had their say

By Local Democracy Reporter

There was a mixed reaction to the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Grimsby, with some claiming he “should have gone months ago” and others saying he’d done “a lot of good” for the United Kingdom.

Boris Johnson was pressured into resigning as Prime Minister on Thursday after a flurry of cabinet resignations – confirming a lack of unity within the Conservative government.

More than 50 MPs stepped away from their cabinet roles in light of recent accusations and scandals against the government, including the appointing of Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher, despite Boris Johnson knowing of his serious allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Mr Johnson’s legacy in power will naturally be the landmark majority he received in the 2019 General Election, tearing down the so-called Red Wall of safe Labour seats in towns such as Grimsby, turning them blue for the first time in generations.

BBC Look North went out to the streets of Grimsby to ask the public’s thoughts on the Prime Minister’s resignation, and it appears to have truly divided opinion.

One resident said the resignation was “too late” and he “should have gone ages ago”, while another said “good riddance to bad rubbish”, declaring that the Prime Minister had “made a mess of it the last couple of years.”

Not everybody in Grimsby sang from the same hymn sheet, though. “What a shame” someone said, before adding that Boris Johnson reminded her of “Winston Churchill”.

Another opinion was that he was “always a maverick”, questioning “why treat him like that now” when we “already knew” what he was like before he became Prime Minister.

Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The political figures in North Lincolnshire have also had their say on the issue, with Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers saying the Prime Minister’s position had become “untenable”.

Mr Vickers told The Lincolnite: “Boris Johnson’s position had become untenable and it was right that he has decided to step down. His outstanding success was to break the deadlock over Brexit and deliver on the referendum result.

“There are a number of potential leaders but I can’t possibly offer an opinion until I know who is entering the contest. Whoever is successful will have to deal with the challenges posed by the energy crisis, the war in Ukraine, the backlog in the NHS resulting from the pandemic and much more.”

“How the Government deals with these issues will determine the outcome of the next election and I’m confident that we will have a leader and team to deal with them.”

Andrew Percy, Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole, told The Lincolnite:  “It has become inevitable that the Prime Minister was going to have to resign. I have not however had any time to consider who I might support to replace him and won’t be able to until we know who is putting themselves forward.”

Grimsby MP Lia Nici (Conservative)

Meanwhile, Lia Nici, Great Grimsby MP and also Boris Johnson’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, who remained tight-lipped as cabinet ministers resigned around her, has now spoken out on social media.

On Friday morning she quote tweeted a video posted by controversial GB News broadcaster Sophie Corcoran, who argued that Tory MPs should be “ashamed of themselves” for “letting the media dictate a Prime Minister”. The Great Grimsby MP said she “couldn’t have said it better” herself, before tagging Boris Johnson.

Interestingly, Sophie Corcoran’s Twitter bio declares her as a “broadcaster/journo/student/commentator” with references to her regular appearances on media platforms such as GB News, Good Morning Britain, Jeremy Vine on 5, Sky News Australia and The Daily Mail.