Second West Sussex MP calls on Boris Johnson to resign

A second West Sussex MP has called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign following parties held in Downing Street breaching Covid restrictions.

Nick Gibb, who has represented Bognor Regis and Littlehampton since 1997, was sacked as schools minister by the PM in September after more than six years in the post.

Writing for The Telegraph website this evening, Mr Gibb revealed he has submitted a letter of no confidence in Mr Johnson and said that ‘to restore trust we need to change the Prime Minister’.

He is the second Tory MP in West Sussex to call on the PM to go after East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton said that Mr Johnson’s resignation ‘is the only way to bring this whole unfortunate episode to an end’ three weeks ago.

Nick Gibb and Boris Johnson prior to the 2019 general election

Mr Gibb wrote: “My constituents are furious about the double standards – imposing harsh and, to my mind, necessary restrictions as we and the world sought to defend ourselves against this new and deadly virus, while at the same time flagrantly disregarding those rules within the fortress of Downing Street.”

He went on to say it is the dealings with Parliament that his constituents have ‘expressed their gravest concerns’ highlighting how the PM told Parliament in December last year he had been ‘repeatedly assured that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken’, but Sue Gray’s report says there were at least 15 social gatherings and 12 of them are now being investigated by police.

For the veteran MP, Sue Gray’s report even in its truncated form ‘is damning’ and while the PM had accepted Allegra Stratton’s resignation as government spokesperson for the COP26 summit for joking about a Christmas party that she didn’t attend, Mr Johnson ‘won’t take responsibility for those that he did attend.

Mr Gibb added: “I am sorry to say that it is hard to see how it can be the case that the Prime Minister told the truth.”

And for him ‘telling the truth matters and nowhere more so than in the House of Commons’.

His stance is in stark contrast to his neighbouring MP, Andrew Griffith, who represents Arundel and South Downs.

Just yesterday he was appointed Mr Johnson’s policy chief to replace Munira Mirza, who resigned in response to the PM’s attack on Sir Keir Starmer.

Mr Johnson referenced the Labour leader’s record as Director of Public Prosecutions between 2008 and 2013 in the Commons on Monday, saying he ‘spent most of his time prosecuting journalists and failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile, as far as I can make out’.

Ms Mirza said: “There was no fair or reasonable basis for that assertion. This was not the usual cut and thrust of politics, it was an inappropriate and partisan reference to a horrendous case of child sex abuse.”