The chair of the House of Commons justice select committee has joined a growing list of Conservative MPs to submit a letter of no confidence in the prime minister following the publication of Sue Gray’s report on lockdown parties in Downing Street.
Bob Neill MP confirmed he submitted his letter to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 committee, on Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement barrister Neill 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. My years as a lawyer have taught me not to come to conclusions without the fullest possible evidence. I have been equally clear that we cannot have one rule for those working in government and a different one for everyone else.
‘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’.
After listening to the PM’s explanations in parliament and elsewhere, Neill said he did not find his assertions to be credible.
‘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,’ he said.
Neill’s statement was immediately praised:
Thank you for your principled stance, Bob.
— The Secret Barrister (@BarristerSecret) May 27, 2022
Thanks Bob. You know this is a much bigger issue than party politics. It’s about integrity and honesty in government. I hope others will follow.
— Gerard McDermott QC (@McDermottQC) May 27, 2022