Sat, 10 December 2022

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Tory MP Resigns From Home Office Over Sue Gray Report

Tory MP Resigns From Home Office Over Sue Gray Report
2 min read

Conservative MP Paul Holmes has quit as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Home Secretary Priti Patel over Sue Gray report into partygate.

The Conservative MP on Friday said the saga had created a "deep mistrust in both the Government and the Conservative Party" that had caused him weeks of "distress".

Holmes said the work he was doing for his constituency was being "tarnished by the toxic culture that seemed to have permeated Number 10" while the lockdown parties were taking place in Downing Street and Whitehall.

Holmes, elected as the Conservative MP for Eastleigh in 2019, confirmed to PoliticsHome that he had not sent a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson to Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, however.

"This is not about letters for me, I have decided that I want to focus on my constituency," he said.

Five Conservative MPs have publicly called on Boris Johnson to resign since Downing Street published Gray's report on Wednesday.

Sir Bob Neill, the MP for Bromley & Chislehurst and chair of the justice committee, became the latest to do so on Friday afternoon when announced that he had sent a letter to Brady. He said "a change of leadership is required" to restore trust in the "political process".

Julian Sturdy, John Baron, David Simmonds and Stephen Hammond have also publicly called on Johnson to quit.

54 Conservative MPs must submit letters of no confidence in order to trigger a vote of no confidence in the prime minister.

In a statement on Friday, Homes said he was resigning from the Home Office so he could "focus solely on my efforts in being your Member of Parliament and the campaigns that are important to you".

The MP said the partygate saga had distracted from the "good work" that the government was doing to address the most important issues facing the public, like the cost-of-living crisis.

"I am disappointed that all of this has taken a great deal of time away from the good work that Government has been doing and should be continuing to do, including dealing with the issue of the cost of living, focusing on our economic recovery and delivering for the people of Eastleigh and the wider country," he said.

He said the revelation in the Gray report that rule-breaking employees mistreated cleaners and security staff showed a "distasteful" culture within Downing Street.

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