MP Ian Levy 'sad' to lose Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, and says his resignation was 'bittersweet moment'

MP Ian Levy has said he is sad Boris Johnson has quit as prime minister, describing him as “a friend to Blyth Valley”.

By Amanda Bourn
Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 2:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 2:11 pm

The race to choose a new Conservative leader – and therefore a PM – is underway after Mr Johnson bowed to pressure from his party and resigned last week.

The winner will take up the mantle on September 5 but until then, Mr Johnson will continue to serve as a caretaker prime minister.

The majority of the 347 Tory MPs who are not taking part in the leadership contest have now nailed their colours to the mast, with more than 180 MPs having declared their support for one of 10 prospective prime ministers.

Ian Levy, MP for Blyth Valley.

Ian Levy is not yet one of them, but national reports today suggested he would back Home Secretary Priti Patel if she chooses to stand.

Speaking about Mr Johnson’s departure, he said: “I know this will not be a popular thing to say with everybody, but the resignation of the Prime Minister is a bittersweet moment for me.

"On one hand we can move forward as a nation but on the other, I am sad at the loss of a Prime Minister who led us to an extraordinary election victory in December 2019, broke the Brexit deadlock, saw us through the unprecedented Covid pandemic and demonstrated strong leadership in the world’s support for Ukraine.

"There was much more he wished to do which will now be delivered by a new Prime Minister.”

He said Mr Johnson had been “a friend to Blyth Valley” and the government is now delivering thousands of new jobs thanks to investments in Britishvolt, JDR Cables and the Blyth Town Deal. He also pointed to the fact passenger rail services will soon return to the Northumberland Line, which will boost the local economy, and revealed Mr Johnson had taken a personal interest in his constituency, and regularly asked for updates.

He added: “No other Prime Minister in living memory has been here – Boris has visited three times.

"I came into politics to make a difference here and Boris has been a strong ally, receptive to what needs to be done to support left behind areas.

"I wish the Prime Minister and his family all the best and thank him for what he has delivered, and I am ready to work with the next Prime Minister for the continued betterment of Blyth Valley.”

The window for candidates – there are currently 10 – to get on to the ballot opened at noon today, and they have until 6pm to secure the backing of at least 20 MPs to move forward to the first vote tomorrow.

On Thursday, this threshold will rise to 30 MPs and keep rising until the party is left with just two candidates to put to its wider membership.

The winner of this final stage will then be revealed on 5 September.