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Two lawmakers from the British ruling Conservative Party withdrew their support Prime Minister Boris Johnson Thursday on a damning report detailing a series of alcohol-fueled block-breaking parties at his 10 Downing Street office.
The day after the report describing an alcoholic culture in Downing Street during the COVID-19 blockade was released, conservative lawmakers John Baron and David Simmonds said they could no longer support the prime minister.
Their voices add to Growing list of conservative lawmakers who asked Johnson to step down for what has been dubbed “partygate”, despite the prime minister’s repeated apologies.
Baron, first elected in 2001, said he was withdrawing his support because he believed Johnson had “knowingly” deceived parliament – an allegation the prime minister denies but is being investigated by a parliamentary committee. .
“Given the scale of the rule violation in # 10, I cannot accept that the prime minister was unaware. Therefore his repeated assurances in parliament that there was no rule violation simply are not credible,” he said in a note.
“Having always said that I would consider all the available evidence before deciding, I fear that the prime minister no longer enjoys my support, I can no longer give him the benefit of the doubt.”
Simmonds, elected in 2019, said Johnson had lost public trust. “Consequently, it is time for him to step down so that the new leadership can carry out the important work of the government,” he said in a statement.
More than 15 conservative lawmakers have publicly called on Johnson to step down since news of the parties breaking the blockade began to constantly trickle into the media. But Johnson refused, saying he still has some work to do in the government.
To trigger a vote of confidence in Johnson’s leadership, 54 conservative lawmakers in parliament he must write letters requesting one from the chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee.
The letters are confidential, so the president is the only person who knows how many were actually sent.