GREG Clark has broken his silence over Covid rule breaking in Downing Street and has told the Times he voted against the PM in this week’s vote of no confidence.
The Tunbridge Wells MP has remained tight-lipped over the scandals that engulfed the PM earlier this year when Mr Johnson was fined by the Met Police for breaching his own Covid rules.
Mr Clark insisted he wanted to wait for the publication of the full Sue Gray report into parties at Downing Street before commenting.
The report was published last week but Mr Clark was unavailable to comment, but writing exclusively in the Times of Tunbridge Wells this week he says he was ‘dismayed’ to hear about the rule breaking at Number 10.
He said: “The Metropolitan Police found that the Prime Minister broke the rules on one occasion where a surprise birthday party was organised for him. I have always said that it is a big step to remove a Prime Minister and I do not believe that it would be proportionate to do so for this breach alone.
“However, I was dismayed by the findings of the Sue Gray report of a wider culture in Downing Street and in particular shocked by the disrespect shown to staff by some people working there.”
He went on to say that following the calling of a no confidence vote by the Conservative Party’s 1922 Committee on Monday, he voted against the PM.
Mr Clark said: “I want to be open with my constituents about how I cast my vote – which was against Boris Johnson’s leadership of the Party.”
But he added now that the vote was over he will ‘accept the result and will do everything I can to help our country and its Government succeed’.
He continued: “So I hope the Prime Minister will take the opportunity to lead the Government in a way that will build again the respect of the people whose support it has lost in recent months.”
Mr Johnson staved off the no-confidence vote this week which saw 148 of his own MPs try to oust him – Mr Clark among them.
Tory MPs voted by 211 to 148 in support of the Prime Minister but the scale of the revolt against his leadership has left the PM wounded.
When Theresa May faced a confidence vote in 2018 she secured the support of 63% of her MPs but was still forced out within six months.
Mr Johnson saw 41 per cent of his MPs vote against him, a worse result than Mrs May.
Read Mr Clark’s exclusive column in today’s (Wednesday) Times of Tunbridge Wells.