Derbyshire Conservative MP first to break ranks and call for Boris Johnson to quit over 'Partygate' fines

A Derbyshire Conservative MP is the first to break ranks and call for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to quit over 'Partygate'.

Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 3:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 4:10 pm

Nigel Mills, who represents Amber Valley, says Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s positions are untenable after both were fined for breaching coronavirus restrictions.

The PM, his wife Carrie, and Mr Sunak paid £50 fixed penalty notices for attending a surprise birthday party for Mr Johnson in Downing Street on June 19, 2020 – when social gatherings of more than two people inside were banned by law.

Mr Mills described it as a ‘very serious matter’.

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Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills is the first Derbyshire Conservative MP to break ranks and call for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to quit over 'Partygate'.

He said: “I don’t think the PM can survive or should survive breaking the rules he put in place…we have to have higher standards than that of people at the top. He’s been fined, I don’t think his position is tenable.

“I think people are rightly angry that at a time when they were observing the very strictest of the rules people who were making the rules didn’t have the decency to observe them…that’s the nub of it.”

The prime minister can only be removed by a vote of no confidence in Parliament, or by his own MPs organising a leadership contest, neither of which is likely to happen at this stage.

More than 70 Conservative MPs have expressed their support for the PM since he was fined, including some who have previously called for him to go.

Speaking on Tuesday, the prime minister claimed the party he was fined for attending was "brief", lasted "less than 10 minutes" and it "did not occur" to him it would breach the rules.