Blyth MP says now is 'not the time' for PM to go

A Northumberland Tory MP says now is “not the time” for Boris Johnson to go, as the Prime Minister faces mounting calls to quit.

By Daniel Holland
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 11:32 am
Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy has said he still supports Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy has said he still supports Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Pressure is growing on Mr Johnson in the wake of the Partygate scandal at Downing Street, which has prompted some Conservatives to demand that he steps down with some submitting a letter of no confidence in the PM’s leadership.

But Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy has come out against the idea of a change at No 10.

Mr Levy, whose election in 2019 was among the notable ‘Red Wall’ gains the Tories made in the North East, said he had “not been impressed” by the breaking of lockdown rules at the top of the government but believes the time is not right for a leadership contest, citing the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine as reasons.

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He also called for judgement to be reserved until the cross-party Commons privileges committee has published its conclusions following its own inquiry, separate from the Sue Gray report, into whether Mr Johnson lied to Parliament.

The chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady will call a vote of confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership if 15% of Tory MPs, 54 in total, submit letters calling for one.

Almost 30 MPs have publicly called for the PM’s resignation, though not all of them have said whether they have written to Sir Graham.

Confirming he would not be lodging a letter of no confidence, Mr Levy said: “The Privileges Committee has not issued its findings yet and with important issues such as the increase in fuel prices and the impact that is having on households and the war in Ukraine, I think now is not the time to be having a long, drawn-out leadership election in the Conservative Party.

"I have not been impressed by what has happened and with the culture within Downing Street but I believe that at the moment all focus needs to be on what is most important.”