Tory MP urges ministers to quit to create ‘momentum’ to force out Boris Johnson

Tory MP urges ministers to quit to create ‘momentum’ to force out Boris Johnson
’If we did start to see some ministerial resignations, then that might get some momentum going’

Ministers who oppose Boris Johnson should have the courage to resign, a senior Tory MP says – arguing that would provide the “momentum” to force him from power.

Tim Loughton lashed out at his colleagues who secretly voted against the prime minister in the no-confidence vote, yet remain in office, calling their position “untenable”.

The former minister said he opposes changing the rules, to allow a second vote, but called for ministers who have remained silent to “stand up for their principles”.

“We haven’t seen, as we did under previous prime ministers, the resignation of other ministers, particularly within the cabinet,” Mr Loughton said.

“If we did start to see some ministerial resignations – by people who I think must have voted no confidence in the prime minister to justify the figures that we had – then that might get some momentum going.”

The call came as Mr Loughton branded Mr Johnson “a little arrogant” for saying he wants to serve three terms in power, saying he should “concentrate on getting the first term back on track”.

He said he decided in January that the prime minister’s position had “become untenable and that he should resign”, telling Times Radio: “Nothing has happened since then to change that view.”

The comments come after Mr Johnson fuelled Conservative anger that he is leading them to electoral disaster by rejecting calls to change style, while insisting criticism of him “doesn’t matter”.

He mocked the idea of him undergoing a “psychological transformation” to recover from disastrous by-election defeats, saying: “That’s not going to happen.”

However, no further resignations have followed the shock walkout of Oliver Dowden, the party chair, hours after last week’s disastrous byelection defeats.

Mr Loughton said: “I’d like to see some ministers stand up to the prime minister, stand up for their own principles and stand up for the Conservative Party and the government.”

On ministers who secretly voted against Mr Johnson, he said: “If they’re in government, their position is untenable. So they should have stood down as well.:

And he added: “What I want to see in the cabinet is fewer people who say, ‘Yes, prime minister’ and rather more who are much more prepared to say, ‘Are you mad, Boris, if you’re thinking about doing that’.”

Mr Loughton said: “We need to have a proper debate within government, behind closed doors – rather than people who are there because they want to agree with the prime minister.”

On Mr Johnson’s hopes of staying in No 10 until 2030, he pointed out: “I seem to recall Mrs Thatcher, when she was slightly on the ropes, talking about going on and on and on” – not long before Tory MPs ousted her.

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