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MP submits letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson after Commons clash

An MP who asked Boris Johnson if he was a "fool" for following Covid restriction rules at the funeral of his Kent grandmother has become the latest to submit a letter of no confidence in the PM.

On Monday, Aaron Bell put the question to the Prime Minister in the Commons in light of social gatherings allegedly held at Downing Street during periods of restrictions.

Aaron Bell in the Commons. Picture: Parliament TV
Aaron Bell in the Commons. Picture: Parliament TV

He described how in 2020 only 10 people had attended the funeral of his grandmother – a loyal member of Dartford Conservative Association who he described as a "wonderful woman" – in the same month that 30 people, including the PM, allegedly attended a party in the garden of Number 10.

More than a dozen MPs have now publicly requested a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, although it's thought more have done so in private.

Today Mr Bell, the MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, posted a statement on Twitter, which read: "Having had the opportunity to speak directly to my local councillors and council candidates yesterday evening, I can now confirm that I have submitted a letter to Sir Graham Brady requesting a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson's leadership.

"I wrote my letter following Prime Minister's Questions on January 12, when I could not square the Prime Minister's words from the despatch box with his previous statements to the House before Christmas.

"Subsequently I have also struggled to reconcile assurances given directly to me with the implications of Sue Gray's interim findings."

Aaron Bell in the Commons. Picture: Parliament TV (54599510
Aaron Bell in the Commons. Picture: Parliament TV (54599510

"As someone who backed Brexit and backed Boris Johnson for the leadership in 2019, I am profoundly disappointed that it has come to this.

"The government that the Prime Minister has led has delivered some huge successes, including the vaccine rollout and nearly £35m for Newcastle-under-Lyme to level up.

"However, the breach of trust that the events in No 10 Downing Street represent, and the manner in which they have been handled, makes his position untenable.

"I believe it is in the country's best interests that this matter is resolved as soon as possible. I do not intend to comment further at this time."

If 54 letters are sent to the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, a vote of no confidence would be called.

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