Boris Johnson ‘pulls face’ at Partygate and says ‘I would do it again’ in MPs showdown

The Prime Minister was appealing to Tory MPs to keep him in power rather than indulge in “senseless fratricide” – as a senior party source tried to downplay Partygate by saying: “Is there anyone here who in his life never been mad?”

Boris Johnson is fighting for survival
Boris Johnson is fighting for survival

Boris Johnson boasted “I would do it again” when confronted with Partygate, who left drinks behind in a showdown with his backbenchers.

The PM has appealed to Tory MPs to keep him in power rather than indulge in “senseless fratricide” ahead of today’s no-confidence vote in his leadership.

In a 1922 speech to the Backbench Committee, Mr Johnson raised the vague prospect of tax cuts and suggested he would go ahead even if he won by a vote, according to the MPs present.

He went on the defensive on Partygate when confronted with outspoken critic Mark Harper, who questioned “why MPs should continue to defend the untenable” and demanded to know why the Prime Minister had sought to water down the ministerial code.

A source said the Prime Minister “pulled a face and looked hurt” when questioned. When asked about his participation in the drink-leaving lockdown, describing Sue Gray’s scathing account, Mr Johnson told MPs: “I would do it again.”

A Tory source tried to clarify that the Prime Minister meant he would thank staff once again for their hard work – an excuse Mr Johnson used to participate in breaches of the law, according to Sue Gray’s report.

Boris Johnson was granted a brief reprieve over the anniversary weekend but there was a vote of confidence on Monday



The celebrating Prime Minister was fined for just one event – his lockdown birthday party in June 2020 – but he attended several farewell events where other attendees were fined.

Outside the meeting, a senior Conservative source said the Prime Minister had not addressed the forthcoming Privileges Committee report on whether he had misled Parliament about Partygate.

The source tried to downplay the events, adding: “Is there anyone here who has never been pissed off in their life?”.

He told reporters: “Even you may find other interesting things to talk about between now and September or whenever this begins that are so much more relevant to your viewers, listeners and readers than further investigation into a series of events , which is Is there anyone here who has never gotten angry in their life?

“Is there anyone who doesn’t like a glass of wine to relax with?”

Mr Johnson spent about 27 minutes addressing his party, which will decide his fate in a close confidence vote tonight.

He must retain the support of 180 MPs to stay at Downing Street or he will be ousted and a full leadership contest begins.

Sir Graham Brady announced a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister

Speaking to his MPs, the Prime Minister warned them Tory splits would risk “complete disaster” with Labor entering No. 10, backed by the SNP.

“We will only allow this to happen if we were stupid enough to throw ourselves into a pointless fratricidal debate about the future of our party,” he told MPs, according to a source on hand.

Outside the meeting, Brexit hard man Steve Baker said the Prime Minister must go.

He told reporters, “I can’t get beyond the requirement of having a culture of rule-by-law at the top of government.”

He added: “I told the Prime Minister if he breaks the law he has to go. He clearly broke the law. He has unequivocally agreed to breaking the law and I have to vote for him to go.”

Asked if he thought the Prime Minister would survive the vote, Mr Baker said: “I think tonight there’s a very good chance he will officially win.

“But I don’t know what that means in the next few months. I am sure that the Conservative Party must find a way to raise our standard of conduct on all things, not only among ministers but also among backbenchers.”

Brexit Chances Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned his mutinous colleagues they risk derailing Brexit if they oust the Prime Minister.

He said: “What I would say to Steve [Baker] is that he is risking the Brexit, which he fought so hard for, because no other leader will initiate Brexit than the Prime Minister.”

Mr Rees-Mogg said he was optimistic about the result and said Boris Johnson should remain prime minister even if he wins by just one vote.

He joked: “What do the French have for breakfast… one oeuf is enough”.

A veteran backbencher said: “My feeling is that the prime minister is likely to win, but I would suspect the rebellion will be bigger than expected.”

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