Boris Johnson already ‘disgraced’ and might face by-election says Rhondda MP Chris Bryant
Chris Bryant, a Labour MP for Rhondda and chairman of the Commons Committee on Standards, said that Boris Johnson is already “disgraced” and if he returns at Prime Minister might be kicked out in a by-election.
Mr Bryant was part of the cross-party Privileges Committee which is currently investigating whether Boris Johnson deliberately misled Parliament about the parties held in Number 10.
However, he withdrew himself from the committee’s inquiry as he had already publicly condemned Mr Johnson’s behaviour.
Boris Johnson is currently returning to the UK to see if he can win a fresh Conservative leadership election after Liz Truss resigned as Prime Minister.
But he does so amid the threat that he could be booted out of the House of Commons this winter or in early January.
The Commons passed a motion in April for the Commons privileges committee to launch an inquiry into whether Mr Johnson’s repeated denials that Covid lockdown rules were broken at No 10 amounted to contempt of parliament.
Should Mr Johnson be found in contempt, he could be expelled from parliament and face a by-election which on current polling he might well lose.
When asked about his opinion of Mr Johnson returning to high office, Chris Bryant said: “He’s disgraced. I mean, look, I’m a Labour MP, I don’t fancy any of the three of them. I think we’ve got to a stage now where the people of this country think the only way you can press the reset button is to have a general election.
“Penny Mordaunt voted in Cabinet or allowed in Cabinet, never said a word in Cabinet against the whole of the mini-budget that led to the economic crash that we’ve had.
“Rishi Sunak backs Boris Johnson all the way up until the very last moment, despite all the lies and of course was himself involved in ‘partygate’ and Boris Johnson is a disgraced prime minister. The biggest problem for Boris if he does get elected as leader, apart from I suspect that quite a few Conservative MPs will either cross the floor or abandon support for him.
“Frankly, as I think William Hague said, he’s unfit for office. His biggest problem is, he will be spending probably the first two months of his of his second premiership, entirely focused on the privileges inquiry, and may, at the end of it, be found to have been in contempt of Parliament, suspended from the House of Commons and potentially facing a by-election in a seat which he would lose.”
Andrew Stephenson, Conservative MP for Pendle and the Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities however said he believed that Boris Johnson should put his name forward for the leadership contest.
He says that party members and members of the public have told him that they want Mr Johnson back. He told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I visited 80 different constituencies I attended all of the hustings, met thousands of party members, and a lot of them were saying to me ‘we want Boris on the ballot’. Now, constitutionally that couldn’t have happened, Boris had resigned, It was a contest between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. But there was a huge amount of support from party members still for Boris and they were quite upset that parliamentarians had got rid of him.
“I am one of a number of MPs urging him now to put his name forward to think about putting his name forward, because he’s popular with party members, but also I think he’s got the big judgment calls right. Not only did he deliver us that historic victory in the 2019 general election, but getting Brexit done, in delivering the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe, in standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies in Ukraine.”
When asked what had changed, Mr Stephenson said: “Well, clearly what’s changed is some of my colleagues who said they had no faith in him and urged him to resign previously, have now gone on record urging him to put his name forward.
“There are many more waiting for him to come back and to make a decision on whether he is going to stand but I have heard lots of MPs who now feel that they were rash to judge him before and somewhat rash to encourage him to resign then.” Mr Stephenson also said that he was stopped in a supermarket in his constituency on Friday by people saying “we want Boris back”.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.