Boris under pressure as own constituents question ‘damaged’ Prime Minister’s future

BORIS Johnson has seen some of his own constituents question his ability to stay in power as the Conservatives fend off accusations of sleaze.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been facing calls to resign following the Government’s U-turn on the creation of a new standard and appeal committee. The vote on the establishment of the committee saw the abstention of most Opposition parties because of an earlier motion dismissing a 30-day suspension for Tory MP Owen Paterson despite him being found in breach of lobbying rules. The Paterson vote sparked the ires of several MPs and the subsequent one-eighty on the new committee left the Conservative Party facing accusations of sleaze.

Voters in Mr Johnson’s constituency of Uxbridge had expressed uncertainty on whether the Prime Minister should be allowed to stay on in Number 10.

Speaking to Sky News, one older voter said: “To use the word honour – years ago, if any minister stepped out of line, they resigned without anybody suggesting it.

“They were just saying, ‘Look, for the good of the party, the Government, the country, whatever, I’m stepping back from this.’

“But now it seems to be, ‘hold on, I’m earning a lot of money so let me just hold on to it’.”

Another voter was asked whether the Paterson debacle will make him reconsider who he votes for: “I think it has damaged him. I think I would.”

A young father said the situation with Boris Johnson had become “worse and worse” since he entered Parliament.

He said: “I think his reputation was damaged before he even entered Parliament, to be honest with you.

“It’s just gotten worse and worse over time.”

However, some voters in Uxbridge showed their support for Boris Johnson, with one woman saying: “I think he’s a great Prime Minister.”

And another suggested Mr Johnson bows to party pressure and would not have been able to make any decision on Mr Paterson by himself.

She said: “It’s a party, it’s not one person. It’s a whole group of people sat together, so they have different ideas.

“Not everything he does is just because he wants to do it, it’s the party that wants it.”

Lib Dem MP Wendy Chamberlain secured a debate from Speaker Lindsay Hoyle following Tory’s attempts to block Mr Paterson’s suspension over an “egregious” breach of lobbying rules.

Conservative MPs were triple-whipped to back the creation of a Tory-led committee to look again at Mr Paterson’s case and the whole standards system.

But after a backlash, the Government performed a U-turn and the Tory MP subsequently quit the Commons, leaving what he called the “cruel world of politics”.

Reports at the weekend suggested the Speaker may put forward his own proposals for reform of the standards process in an effort to take some of the increasingly bitter politics out of the row.

Ahead of the emergency debate, Sir Keir said the Prime Minister must publicly confirm that former Cabinet minister Mr Paterson will not be nominated for a peerage.

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