Tory Backbenchers Plot Ousting Boris Johnson Amid Anger Over Partygate, Vaccine Passport

By Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou is a freelance writer mostly covering UK news for The Epoch Times.
December 10, 2021 Updated: December 10, 2021

Some of the UK’s Conservative backbenchers have been talking about ousting Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a senior Tory said on Friday.

Lord Gavin Barwell, former chief of staff under Theresa May, wrote on Twitter that Conservative MPs are angry with the prime minister because they “rightly” think many of the government’s problems “are self-inflicted and result from his style of government.”

Asked if the Tories are talking about deposing Johnson, Barwell told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme, “There are definitely those conversations happening.”

“MPs have talked to me about it,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean it is going to happen. But Boris, more than anyone, his position depends on being seen as an electoral asset. If over time that goes, he really is in trouble.”

Speaking to the same programme, Nus Ghani, vice-chair of the 1922 committee, said: “The mood in Parliament is not good.”

The Prime Minister is facing an investigation over alleged partying in Downing Street during the lockdown and is accused of lying about refurbishments to his Downing Street flat, while still dealing with the fallout of his recent mishandling of the Owen Paterson debacle.

It also comes as Tories are expected to stage a record-size rebellion in next week’s vote on tightening CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus restrictions.

The new measures include mandatory COVID Passes for entering nightclubs and large venues and an expansion of settings that legally require mask-wearing.

John Redwood, a veteran Tory MP who held a number of government positions under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, wrote on Twitter that he expects “a record number of Conservative MPs to vote against these latest restrictions.”

“Many more this time round do not think a good case has been made,” Redwood wrote.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid faced a barrage of Tory criticism when he announced the latest measures in Parliament at the same time as Johnson addressed the nation on Wednesday.

Conservative MPs anger had been fuelled by suspicions the new measures were introduced as an attempt to distract from Johnson’s troubles over an alleged staff party in Downing Street during last December’s lockdown.

“Why should people at home, listening to the prime minister and the secretary of state, do things that people working in No.10 Downing Street are not prepared to do?” Marker Harper, former party whip and chair of the COVID Recovery Group, questioned Javid after his statement.

Conservative MPs also argued that the government has jumped the gun before data became available.

At least two dozen Conservative MP’s took to Twitter, saying they cannot and will not vote for vaccine passports.

“I have long opposed vaccine passports, and so will vote against their introduction next week,” Dehenna Davison, MP for Bishop Auckland wrote.

“To me, the evidence we have been presented with does not justify further restrictions on liberties. ‘Just in case’ simply doesn’t cut it,” she added.

However, the vote on Tuesday is expected to pass as the proposal has the support of the Labour Party, which throughout the pandemic consistently voted for CCP virus restrictions and criticised the government for not reacting soon enough or far enough to rising case numbers.

The largest Tory revolt so far happed on Dec. 1, 2020, when 53 Conservative MPs voted against a three-tier system under which regions in England have different levels of restrictions. Their 290 Tory colleagues pushed the vote through, while most Labour MPs abstained.

The Epoch Times reached out to No 10 Downing Street for comment.

PA contributed to this report.

Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou is a freelance writer mostly covering UK news for The Epoch Times.