Boris Johnson is at crisis point as Prime Minister, with cabinet ministers resigning – but Lincolnshire’s MPs are maintaining their silence on the situation (not so much on the county border though).
The Prime Minister has come under immense pressure following allegations that Chris Pincher, the Deputy Chief Whip who resigned from his government role last week, groped two men at a private members’ club.
It was revealed that Boris Johnson was aware of formal complaints about his colleague’s “inappropriate behaviour” while Pincher was a Foreign Office minister, despite ministers previously repeating that the PM did not know.
This latest scandal has resulted in a Conservative MP revolt, with more than a dozen ministers resigning from roles in the past 24 hours – most notably frontbenchers Rishi Sunak as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Sajid Javid as Health Secretary.
They have been replaced by former Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and ex-Downing Street Chief of Staff Steve Barclay, as Chancellor and Health Secretary respectively. A total of 21 resignations from government have been recorded within a day.
Louth and Horncastle’s Victoria Atkins also resigned from her role as Justice Minister on Wednesday, citing concerns over integrity, decency, respect and professionalism within government.
Despite the chaos surrounding him, Mr Johnson told the House of Commons on Wednesday that he will keep going as leader of the country, during a fiery Prime Minister’s Questions.
The Lincolnite contacted all eleven Greater Lincolnshire MPs to see if they still backed Boris Johnson or felt he should now resign given the growing pressure. Just one of them responded at the time of publication.
Gainsborough MP Edward Leigh responded to say that he “remains a firm supporter” of Boris Johnson. At the point of reporting he is the only MP in the county to comment.
We asked the MPs what their message of reassurance to Lincolnshire voters would be following the latest unrest within government, as well as what it could mean for the future of the country. Questions that ultimately were not answered.
The MPs in question are:
- Andrew Percy – Brigg & Goole
- Caroline Johnson – Sleaford & North Hykeham
- Gareth Davies – Grantham & Stamford
- Holly Mumby-Croft – Scunthorpe
- John Hayes – South Holland & The Deepings
- Karl McCartney – Lincoln
- Lia Nici – Great Grimsby
- Martin Vickers – Cleethorpes
- Matt Warman – Boston & Skegness
- Victoria Atkins – Louth & Horncastle
However, across the Lincolnshire border in Nottinghamshire, Newark MP Robert Jenrick called for the Prime Minister’s resignation on Wednesday afternoon, saying the country would be “best served by new leadership”.
While Lincoln MP Karl McCartney did not provide a comment regarding the situation, he did take time to retweet Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer, who stated that he did not call out Boris Johnson in the Commons because “politics is about getting things done for the people that need it.”
Your view – fine. Not mine. And I’m still here. You left.
Politics is about getting things done for the people that need it, and I’m doing my best for them. https://t.co/1AovQadz9T
— Johnny Mercer (@JohnnyMercerUK) July 6, 2022
It is worth noting, however, that within Mr McCartney’s Twitter bio it states “RTs [retweets] obvs [obviously] not endorsements”.
We asked a few people in Lincoln their thoughts on the matter, with one person suggesting: “If even his own party don’t trust him, how are the British public supposed to?”
Local resident Nathan Wilson said the reason Lincolnshire’s MPs are keeping quiet is because they have “the same morals” as the Prime Minister, before declaring “it’s time to go Boris it really is that simple”.
Ben Lloyd stated that this current government are “not conservative at all” and have “zero backbone” which is why “everyone is leaving”.
May Jones commented: “Rats and sinking ships come to mind. It took them all long enough to realise that their party lacked integrity, decency, respect etc. The only difference is that they now feel they are backing a loser.”
It has been reported that the 1922 Committee, which holds the power to change the rules of no confidence votes, will discuss the prospect of a new ballot at 5pm this evening.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney is a member of the committee and has been vocal in his support of the Prime Minister in recent months, though notably he has been more quiet after recent developments.
A vote of no confidence was last called on Boris Johnson just one month ago, which he narrowly survived despite 148 Conservative MPs voting against his leadership.