Former cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom has accused Boris Johnson of ‘unacceptable failures of leadership’ in connection with the partygate scandal.
The former business secretary is the 28th Tory MP to publicly express his displeasure with the Prime Minister since he was fined by the Met for breaking lockdown rules at Downing Street, according to a Sky tally News.
Ms Leadsom sent a letter to her constituents in south Northamptonshire on Monday, in which she said that after careful consideration of Sue Gray’s report into the partygate scandal ‘it is painfully clear to me that given the extent and the seriousness of the rule violations over a period of 20 months, it is extremely unlikely that senior management was unaware of what was going on”.
The senior Brexiteer, who has backed Mr Johnson in his leadership campaign, said: ‘I therefore agree with Sue Gray’s findings that there have been significant leadership failures, both political and officials, at No. 10 and the Cabinet Office.
“The conclusion I have drawn from Sue Gray’s report is that there have been unacceptable failures of leadership which cannot be tolerated and which are the responsibility of the Prime Minister.”
She added that she and all Tory MPs ‘must now decide what is the right course of action that will restore confidence in our government’.
A steady drop of Tory MPs expressing their displeasure with the Prime Minister after Sue Gray’s report was published last Wednesday has turned into a flood.
Three others came forward on Monday, including Elliot Colburn, one of the 2019 MPs, who confirmed he had sent a letter of no confidence to the Prime Minister to the chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers.
A total of 54 letters – 10% from Tory MPs – must be given to Sir Graham Brady to trigger a leadership vote, and he is the only person who knows how many have been submitted.
Before the threshold was reached for a Theresa May leadership vote, only 24 MPs revealed they had submitted a letter, but 48 or more letters had in fact been delivered.
Downing Street is likely preparing for a possible leadership vote, which is unlikely to happen this week as MPs are on vacation.
Some MPs said they would not reveal their views on the conclusion of the Sue Gray report until after recess, sparking speculation in Westminster that others would hand in letters next week.
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