Sir John Major Calls For Boris Johnson To Be Kicked Out Of Downing Street Now
Former prime minister Sir John Major has called for Boris Johnson to be made to leave Number 10 immediately.
In a letter to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, Major wrote that any proposal whereby Boris Johnson stays in Number 10 for up to three months was "unwise" and "may be unsustainable".
Major went on: "Some will argue that his new Cabinet will restrain him. I merely note that his previous Cabinet could not – or would not – do so."
The former PM proposed Johnson resign, leaving Dominic Raab in charge, or that "in the unique and pressing circumstances of the moment, the 1922 Committee should arrange for the new leader of the party to be elected solely by MPs, with the winner being installed as Prime Minister, and then endorsed by Conservative MPs."
A 1922 source suggested it would be for the 1922's new executive – set to be elected on Monday – to respond to Major's proposals. They said that at present, the committee simply did not have the powers to enact them.
It comes after Johnson announced he would step down as Prime Minister once a new leader of the Conservative Party is elected.
In a statement outside Downing Street this morning he said he understood it was the "will of the parliamentary Conservative Party, that there should be a new leader".
Johnson said: "I've agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now, and the timetable will be announced next week.
"And today I appointed a Cabinet to serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place."
It had been suggested he could stay in place until the Tories' annual conference in the autumn, but many inside his own party are unhappy at the notion that he stays in post for another three months.
There are also question marks if he can continue to govern as caretaker PM given 60 members of his government have resigned in recent days, though he has begun to fill the gaps left in his Cabinet from those who have stood down.
Johnson thanked the "millions of people" who voted for him in 2019, describing his "incredible mandate", and adding: "The reason I have fought so hard in the last few days to continue to deliver that mandate in person, was not just because I wanted to do so, but because I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you to continue to do what we promised in 2019."
The PM said he was "immensely proud of the achievements of this government", talking about Brexit, the pandemic, vaccine rollout and "leading the West in standing up to Putin's aggression in Ukraine".
But he lamented the fact he had not been able to deliver on his ambition to "level up" the country to keep "unleashing the potential of every part of the United Kingdom".
His decision was welcomed by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who tweeted: "The PM has made the right decision.
"The Government under Boris's leadership had many achievements - delivering Brexit, vaccines and backing Ukraine. We need calmness and unity now and to keep governing while a new leader is found."
Her Cabinet colleague, and potential future rival to be Johnson's successor, Home Secretary Priti Patel, tweeted that she would be staying in post as "at this critical time my duty is to continue to lead this Great Office of State".
"I will continue to work closely with colleagues across Government and our partners and agencies to ensure these important responsibilities are upheld," she added.
Moving on to his attempts to stay in post this week, Johnson said in his televised address: "In the last few days I've tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we're delivering so much, when we have such a vast mandate and when we're actually only a handful of points behind in the polls, even in mid-term after quite a few months of pretty relentless sledging."
He said he regrets not to have been successful in that endeavour, adding "of course it's painful", but aiming a barb at his own MPs, said: "But as we've seen at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves.
"And my friends, in politics, no one is remotely indispensable, and our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times."
Johnson added: "I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world, but them's the breaks.
"I want to thank Carrie and our children, all members of my family who have had to put up with so much for so long.
"I want to thank the peerless British civil service for all the help and support that you have given our police, our emergency services and of course, our fantastic NHS through a critical moment that helped to extend my own period in office, as well as our armed services and our agencies that are so admired around the world."
The PM finished by thanking the British public "for the immense privilege that you have given me", adding: "I know that even if things can sometimes seem dark now, our future together is golden."
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