Harborough MP Neil O’Brien has today told Prime Minister Boris Johnson – you have to go now.
Mr O’Brien gave the stricken Premier the blunt advice 24 hours after Mr Johnson quit yesterday (Thursday).
The Harborough MP has spoken out after he resigned as Levelling-up minister on Wednesday afternoon insisting he could no longer serve in his Government.
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“Boris Johnson has to go now, he must leave office immediately.
“He should not be hanging around in no10 until September or when ever – it will only lead to more confusion,” Mr O’Brien told the Harborough Mail this afternoon.
“Dominic Raab is the Deputy Prime Minister and he’s stood in for Boris Johnson previously.
“He’s not bidding to become the next leader and he would be the ideal caretaker Prime Minister until we appoint a new one.
“Boris Johnson will still be appearing at PMQs in the Commons and he’s already said he won’t be carrying out any new policies – so he should be gone,” said the highly-rated Conservative MP.
“It’s been a very tricky week for all of us to say the least.
“But Boris had to go, the game was up for him.
“There has been a whole series of things that have been badly handled.
“It’s just been one thing after another,” stressed Mr O’Brien.
“It was over – and everyone had come to the same conclusion.
“I decided to resign on Market Harborough railway station on Wednesday morning as I waited to get the train down to London.
“I’d been umming and ahing about my position as a Minister anyway.
“And then Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid stepped down.
“I was talking to the other four ministers who resigned with me as I waited for the train and that’s when we all decided to go together later that day,” said Mr O’Brien, MP for Harborough since 2017.
“Boris has just been making far too many mistakes.
“Ministers were being sent out to say things that were not true.
“There are only so many times the Prime Minister could apologise for getting it wrong.
“I have not decided yet who to support in the leadership contest.
“So many serious people have been left on our backbenches by Boris for one reason or another.
“He’s a colourful character to say the least.
“But now we need some one much more disciplined as Prime Minister.”
Asked what the new Premier’s priorities will be, Mr O’Brien replied: “They will have to tackle the rising cost of living and high inflation.
“We have got to work to bring a successful end to the war in Ukraine.
“For me as well there’s got to be a greater focus on battling crime in Harborough as well as nationally.
“Tax cuts might be one way forward,” said the dad-of-two.
“There’s certainly no rush to call a general election.
“People have had more than enough of politics for now.
“So let’s crack on and get back to doing what is best both for Harborough and for the entire United Kingdom.”
Meanwhile, South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa said Mr Johnson had to stand down yesterday.
Mr Costa said the Conservative Party and the Government now has to urgently “reset” following one of the most dramatic weeks in British politics since the Second World War.
“I am the longest-serving member of the Committee on Standards and the Committee on Privileges in the House of Commons.
“I have been helping to investigate the Prime Minister’s conduct so haven’t been able to talk to the media until now,” said the MP for Lutterworth and surrounding villages.
“But I can say something now that Boris Johnson has resigned.
“And I can say that my support in the leadership contest will go to the candidate who can demonstrate to me that absolute integrity and high standards are right at the heart of all they stand for.
“Everything else on policies or what ever will start from that bedrock point.
“I will talk to all of the candidates individually about integrity and standards before deciding who will get my support,” said Mr Costa, who backed Michael Gove to become party leader and Prime Minister in both 2016 and 2019.
“Our candidates must also pledge to me that their Cabinet won’t be made up of their pals and campaign team.
“The best people in our party must be brought in to serve in the Cabinet.
“We don’t have a US presidential-style system of government in Britain – we have a parliamentary democracy.
“It is vital that the Cabinet has to be able to speak truth to power – and that’s not been happening.
“There is no doubt that there has been a breakdown in good governance,” declared Mr Costa, who’s represented South Leicestershire since 2015.
“Boris is a bright man, he’s a well-read man, he knows his history.
“He was perfectly capable of becoming a good, maybe even a great, Prime Minister.
“But he has been brought down.
“There has, unfortunately, been a lack of judgement when it’s come to governing our country in terms of standards, rules and conventions.
“A great many people across Harborough who have emailed me recently have been extremely upset by a perceived lack of standards and integrity that the Government has demonstrated,” said Mr Costa.
“But we have now got a golden opportunity to completely reset and to start again to restore the public’s faith in the Conservative Party and in our Government at the highest levels.”