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‘The PM must move on from last-chance saloon’ - MP Anthony Browne’s letters to Sir Graham Brady in full



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South Cambridgeshire’s Tory MP Anthony Browne has called on Boris Johnson to go - and has twice written to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservatives, expressing no confidence in the Prime Minister.

Anthony Browne MP. Picture: Keith Heppell
Anthony Browne MP. Picture: Keith Heppell

He revealed his letters on Tuesday (July 5), following high-profile Cabinet resignations over the latest scandal engulfing No 10 Downing Street.

His first was among the letter that led to a confidence vote in June, which the PM survived.

His second supports the idea of a rule change so that a second confidence vote can be held, as currently the PM is immune from another within a year of the first.

Anthony Browne’s letter to Sir Graham Brady on June 5 in full

Dear Sir Graham

The Prime Minister has faced far greater challenges in a short period of time than almost all his predecessors, and has many notable achievements to his credit.

He delivered on the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum, which the political establishment had been unable to respect as it descended into chaos. I think history will show he go most of the big decisions on the Covid pandemic right, not least the vaccine programme. Under him, the UK has genuinely led the world in our exemplary response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But as Churchill discovered in 1945, being PM is not about what you have done in the past, but what you can do in the future. The present PM has presided over a catastrophic destruction of trust in government among the British public, not just through so-called partygate and the serious mishandling of it, but other misjudgments such as the sanctioning of Owen Paterson.

Trust between the electors and the elected is one of the most valuable things in a democracy, and losing it damages not just the government, but the political system and the country.

Discussions with my constituents have persuaded me that there is no chance of that being restored with the current Prime Minister remaining in Number 10.

I also shared the widespread concern about the lack of mission of the government, which appears to have no coherent vision. For example, it claims to want low taxes and yet it is presiding over the highest taxation levels since the Second World War.

I cannot support a vision that does not exist. There have been a series of entirely avoidable mishaps and U-turns over the last 18 months which have seriously damaged confidence in the simple competence of this government. These problems emanate from the top.

My constituents, who have always elected a Conservative MP, are almost unanimous in wanting the Prime Minister removed from office. The anger against him, even among party members, is long-running and almost tangible.

His continuing occupation of Number 10 is seriously damaging the reputation of hard-working Conservative councillors.

I have worked with the Prime Minister for a long time, and have been very loyal to him. Loyalty is very important to me personally, but there is more to being an MP than loyalty.

It is time to restore trust in politics, and competence in government. The Prime Minister needs to move on from the last-chance saloon.

For the country, for my constituents, and for my party, I wish to submit this as a letter of No Confidence in the Prime Minister.

Yours sincerely

Anthony Browne

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted he will not leave No 10 despite a mounting revolt against his leadership. Picture: John Sibley/PA
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted he will not leave No 10 despite a mounting revolt against his leadership. Picture: John Sibley/PA

Anthony Browne’s letter to Sir Graham Brady on July 5

Dear Sir Graham

I am writing to you for the second time in a month to confirm that I have lost confidence in the Prime Minister, and believe that if he does not resign, he must be removed from office.

The current situation is completely untenable, and I fully support a change in the rules of the 1922 Committee to enable another vote of no confidence.

As I said in my previous letter, the Prime Minister has many great achievements to his name, not least the Covid vaccination programme and our response to the invasion of Ukraine. He has much to be proud of.

I have worked with the Prime Minister on and off for nearly two decades, since he was editor of the Spectator. I am the only one of his appointed advisers as Mayor of London who now serves as a Member of Parliament. I pride myself on personal loyalty.

But I am also profoundly loyal to my constituency, my party and my country. The repeated breaches of trust from Number 10 are seriously damaging the Conservative Party, the government, British democracy and the UK itself.

The latest breach of integrity, where the PM’s apparent memory lapses have led to No 10 misleading the country, have shown that lessons have not been learned.

My constituents are almost unequivocal in wanting him removed from office, and at the last election they placed their trust in me to represent them.

Trust in politics is incredibly important. I cannot with integrity stand silently by.

Yours

Anthony Browne



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