Caroline Nokes appeared on ITV’s Peston where the panel discussed Boris Johnson and his admission he attended a Downing Street gathering during lockdown. Ms Nokes joined the evergrowing list of Tory MPs publically condemning the Prime Minister as she delivered a scathing ultimatum for her leader. The angry Conservative told host Robert Peston that she believed Mr Johnson was “damaging” the strong Conservative brand she had campaigned for over the years, adding the party was “bigger than one man” and demanded he steps aside.
Speaking on ITV’s Peston, Ms Nokes was asked whether Mr Johnson should resign following multiple calls from opposition benches during PMQs.
Ms Nokes said it was the question everyone was asking with Mr Peston pushing her to give a more straight answer.
She told the show: “I think there was something wrong in your intro, you said Boris Johnson wasn’t loved by his MPs.
“He was, he absolutely was and there are a lot of MPs in parliament who owe their seats to him and there are also MPs like me who recognise that the Prime Minister, when it came to winning that election in 2019, did a fantastic job.
“A job where he reached out to parts of the country that the Tories had not been able to win.
“But now, regretfully, he looks like a liability, and I think he either goes now or he goes at the next general election.
“It is down to the party to decide which way that is going to be, I know my thoughts are he is damaging us now.
“He is damaging the entire Conservative brand for his unwillingness to accept the strictures that other people have lived by.”
Mr Peston summarised and said Ms Nokes wanted Mr Johnson to step down “for the good of the party” to which she replied “absolutely”.
She went on and said the party was “bigger than one man” and that he was “dragging the party down now”.
Tensions within the Conservative ranks have been bubbling following the admission from Boris Johnson he did attend a “bring your own booze” gathering in Downing Street.
Political editors and commentators have said many Tories have messaged them privately to voice their disgust at the revelations with even some senior Conservative figures coming out to bash Mr Johnson.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross was one such person and said it was time for Mr Johnson to step down.
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He said: “I don’t want to be in this position, but I am in this position now, where I don’t think he can continue as leader of the Conservatives.”
Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, addressed the comments during an LBC show and said he was not a “big figure” nor had he ever been a supporter of Boris Johnson.
Mr Johnson has been pressured to resign following a leaked email that invited over 100 Downing Street staffers to a boozy gathering on May 20, 2020.
The Prime Minister said he would not take any action until the findings from senior civil servant Sue Grey’s inquiry was published.
According to the Times, witnesses at the gathering say Mr Johnson was “wandering around gladhanding people” with wife Carrie also in attendance reportedly drinking gin.