Wimbledon‘s MP is among the growing number of Conservative politicians publicly calling for Boris Johnson’s resignation following the publication of Sue Gray’s investigation into ‘partygate’.
Stephen Hammond, who has represented the constituency since 2005, submitted a letter of no-confidence in the Prime Minister in response to the damning findings of the report.
He said: “I have said consistently throughout I cannot and will not defend the indefensible.
“I am struck by a number of my colleagues who were really concerned that it’s almost impossible for the PM to say I want to move on, as we cannot move on without regaining public trust and I am not sure that’s possible in the current situation.”
Gray’s findings criticised “failures of leadership and judgment” among high ranking members of government over parties at Downing Street during lockdown.
Hammond, who is a former Health Minister, said he believes the scandal may hamper the Conservatives’ chance to win the next general election.
Under Conservative Party rules, a no-confidence motion in the leader can be triggered if 15% of MPs write to the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee.
At the moment, 54 letters would need to be submitted for such a vote to be held. As of 26 May, this threshold has not been reached.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May faced a similar no-confidence motion in December 2018, but survived the vote with 63% of MPs backing her.
The Met Police completed their investigation into the Downing Street parties last week, issuing a total of 126 fines – including to Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak.