WEST Dorset MP Chris Loder has said he has lost confidence in the Prime Minister, following the Chris Pincher scandal that has seen two senior Cabinet members resign.
There is growing expectation that Prime Minister Boris Johnson may stand down after two of his most senior ministers – Chanceller Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid – quit Cabinet on Tuesday evening, as more facts emerged about the Chris Pincher affair.
Mr Pincher resigned as the government’s deputy chief whip last week, saying he had drank too much and embarrassed himself and others, with allegations later being made that he had groped two men the night before, while drinking at the Carlton Club in central London.
More allegations about Mr Pincher’s past behaviour then began to emerge.
It was initially denied that Boris Johnson knew of any previous allegations against Mr Pincher. However, the Prime Minister was forced to correct the record in a statement on Tuesday evening, and within 15 minutes two of his most senior Cabinet colleagues had resigned.
Commenting on the saga on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ show this morning (Wednesday), West Dorset MP Chris Loder said he had lost faith in the Prime Minister and he “needs to go”.
"I personally have lost confidence in the Prime Minister"
Chris Loder, Conservative MP, tells @bbcnickrobinson it is unacceptable that it took a civil servant to correct the record regarding Chris Pincher & the 1922 Committee now needs to act if the Prime Minister doesn't resign pic.twitter.com/Khsm7SIMv4
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) July 6, 2022
He said: “It’s taken a civil servant to correct the record after five days. That’s just not acceptable in my opinion to ensure the Prime Minister’s office is getting the facts straight.
“Now, I am glad to see that some in Cabinet have acted accordingly, but now I think that there’s a majority in the party that want to see change.
“I personally have lost confidence in the Prime Minister and I’m very sorry to say that, and I think he does need to go, but if he chooses not to I think the 1922 Committee should act and I would certainly support that approach in the forthcoming 1922 Committee elections.”
Under current 1922 Committee rules, the Prime Minister is protected from another confidence vote for 12 months, after he clung to his premiership in a vote at the beginning of June, with 211 Conservative MPs offering him their support and 148 voting against.
But elections will soon be held for a new 1922 Committee Executive, which could then see the rules changed.
Commenting on this, Mr Loder continued: “We know that there are forthcoming election to the 1922 Committee Executive.
“It is within the gift of the executive to make amendments to those rules if they should so wish and we are at a point of democracy within the Conservative Party itself to actually return an executive reflective of the back benches.
“I have no idea who is going to stand, I suspect we will hear a little bit more about that over the next day or so but I certainly think those that stand for the 1922 Committee executive should consider that course of action.”