Nickie Aiken

Nickie Aiken has hinted that she would call on Boris Johnson to resign if he was found to have broken the law over lockdown breaking parties.

In a letter to constituents this evening, the MP for Cities of London and Westminster said she would wait for full Sue Gray report before deciding whether to withdraw her support in Mr Johnson.

The initial Gray report found “failures of leadership and judgement” at No 10, but had to be redacted in order to not prejudice the ongoing Met police investigation.

Ms Aiken said: “I was appalled by the reports of parties at Downing Street and shared the anger of people across the country who feel betrayed that those who introduced the restrictions did not adhere to the law themselves.

“We must now wait for her full report because of the Met’s investigation and then we will know whether the law was broken by those in Downing Street.

“I hope the Met’s work will be swift so we can learn what exactly happened and if laws were broken.

“If they were, then all those who were involved should face the consequences; no one is above the law, including the Prime Minister.”

But the Conservative MP also warned of the dangers of a change in leadership in light of tensions on the Ukraine Russian border and the cost of living crisis.

She said: “What is clear to me is that it is a profoundly serious decision to change a Prime Minister at any time during the political cycle.

“It is even more vital that I, as a Member of Parliament think extremely hard about the consequences of making such a change.”

She indicated that she had received large correspondence from disgruntled constituents and would neither “defend nor provide excuses” for rule breaking in Downing Street.

“Since the start of the pandemic, I have heard from hundreds of people in my constituency who lost loved ones to COVID-19, those who could not say goodbye to them or attend their funerals.

“I have been deeply moved by these accounts and I know well the sacrifices my family and so many others have made over the past two years.”

Much media attention has been drawn to the number of letters submitted to the Chair of the Tory backbench 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady.

When and if the threshold of 54 letters is reached, a vote of no confidence will be triggered.

As of Monday evening, 15 Tories have publicly called for the Prime Minister to consider his position, although so far none are from constituencies in the capital.

Ms Aiken, who has met both leadership favourites Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss in the last week, indicated however that she was “glad” that the promised restructuring of the Downing Street operation was underway.

Main image credit: David Woolfall, Wikimedia.

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