MP says PM’s position was untenable after raft of resignations

Friday 15th July 2022 6:00 am
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David Davies MP for Monmouth
Monmouth MP David Davies (David Davies )

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MONMOUTH MP David Davies says he will be voting for the Conservative leadership candidate who “shows the most dignity” and respect to their opponents, in the wake of Boris Johnson’s resignation statement last Thursday.

Writing in this week’s paper, he says: “I don’t care if they are from the left, right or centre of the Conservative Party.

“I will vote for the candidate who shows the most dignity over the next few weeks and is respectful to their competitors.”

Mr Davies says the country is fed up of arguments in government and needs a leader who “can quietly and compassionately take over to end the internal rows”.

Speaking to the Beacon immediately after the PM’s announcement, the local MP said the country needed stability.

“It became clear last night (Wednesday, July 6) the Prime Minister’s position had become untenable when he had lost a significant number of the Cabinet. The support is simply not there. It’s a shame it had to come like this, but the country has to look forward. It needs stability,” he said.

“I’ve known Boris since 1997 when we both stood to be MPs in Wales, and his strength is he can galvanise people, such as his leadership during the Covid crisis.

“I sat in on some of the COBRA meetings and saw him banging the table, wanting to know how we could save lives.

“But I spoke last night to Simon Hart, my boss at the Welsh Office, with whom I have a very good and close working relationship. Simon had told the PM he was going to resign and I agreed not to fill his position, and indicated that to the PM. Simon is an excellent middle of the road minister, very sensible and hard-working, who should not be lost to government.

“I am not resigning my position, as I have a role in the Whips office, which is part of the daily functioning of government, including the signing off of cheques. The bottom line is the country needs stability and a way of achieving stability, and that’s what we will be working to do in the coming days and weeks.”

Hours before the PM’s announcement, Mr Davies had told Radio Cymru’s Dros Frecwast programme the PM needed to resign now.

Powys Conservative MP Fay Jones also announced she was resigning her role as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the House, saying she “couldn’t support what was going on at the moment”.

“I think this is really damaging as a party and as a country,” she said.

Following the PM’s exit statement, Welsh Conservative Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies said: “I’ve always said it was essential for the PM to hold the confidence of our country, party and parliament. Clearly, that is no longer the case.

“Boris Johnson’s legacy will always be that he ended the deadlock and got Brexit done, delivering on the will of the British people.

“As well as securing a historic victory in 2019, Boris ensured our return to freedom out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Regrettably, it has now become very difficult for him to deliver on the mandate he secured.”

But Welsh Government leader Mark Drakeford called Mr Johnson’s resignation the “inevitable end” to a “flawed premiership”.

The Labour leader called for his immediate exit from No 10, rather than hanging on until the autumn.

“The prime minister needs to go now, and we need a fresh start, a clean slate, preferably through a general election, so that we can have the sort of decent, reliable government capable of focusing on the things that make the biggest difference in people’s daily lives,” he said.

“We have been without a government in Westminster now for months, as the Conservative Party has turned in on itself.”

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds added: “Finally this whole sorry and undignified saga has come to an end.

“It was always abundantly clear that Boris Johnson was unfit to be Prime Minister and those that backed him to the hilt have a responsibility for the mess and destruction he and his brand of populism has had on our country.

“The Welsh public won’t forgive so many Welsh Conservative MPs for propping up Boris Johnson for so long against various scandals while at the same time ordinary families were struggling to cope with the cost-of-living crisis.”

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts called for the PM to quit No 10 without delay, saying he couldn’t be trusted with the levers of power.

“It’s preposterous that Boris Johnson still holds the keys to No 10 despite having lost all claim to them,” she said.

“His self-serving speech showed zero self-awareness and zero contrition.

“I fear what this bullying narcissist of a Prime Minister will do with his last days of power…

“If he insists on hoarding power until the bitter end, he must at the very least come to Parliament to give regular updates on his and his zombie Cabinet’s activities.”

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