Bromley Tory MP Sir Bob Neill calls ‘with heavy heart’ for prime minister Boris Johnson to quit

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The outcry follows the publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s report into gatherings and parties that took place in No10 Downing Street and Whitehall while the public lived under lockdown restrictions.

The Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, Sir Bob Neill, has announced he is joining calls for the prime minister Boris Johnson to resign his post.

It comes after fellow London Conservative MPs David Simmonds and Stephen Hammond called for the prime minister to quit yesterday.

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The outcry follows the publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s report into gatherings and parties that took place in No10 Downing Street and Whitehall while the public lived under lockdown restrictions.

Sir Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst. Photo: UK ParliamentSir Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst. Photo: UK Parliament
Sir Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst. Photo: UK Parliament

And it also comes after the Met Police issued 126 fines for illegal gatherings in both locations during the pandemic.

A veteran MP, Sir Bob has represented his constituency since 2006.

In a statement posted online, he said: “Since the start of this episode, I have been very clear that I would wait for the conclusion of any police investigation and the publication of Sue Gray’s full report before making a judgement.

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“My years as a lawyer have taught me not to come to conclusions without the fullest possible evidence.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to 10 Downing Street. Photo: GettyUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to 10 Downing Street. Photo: Getty
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to 10 Downing Street. Photo: Getty

“I have been equally clear that we cannot have one rule for those working in government and a different one for everyone else.

“Those of us who set the rules have a particular responsibility to stick to them ourselves.

“Sue Gray’s report has highlighted a pattern of wholly unacceptable behaviour, spread over a number of months, by some working in 10 Downing Street, including breaking rules that caused real pain and hardship for many, and which the government, and we as parliamentarians, were telling others to live by.”

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He continued: “I have listened carefully to the explanations the prime minister has given, in parliament and elsewhere, and, regrettably, do not find his assertions to be credible.

“That is why, with a heavy heart, I submitted a letter of no confidence to Sir Graham Brady on Wednesday afternoon.

“Trust is the most important commodity in politics, but these events have undermined trust in not just the office of the prime minister, but in the political process itself.

“To rebuild that trust and move on, a change in leadership is required.”

Mr Johnson has apologised in the House of Commons and via a press conference, following Sue Gray’s report being published on Wednesday, but has not offered his resignation.

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