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The most damning accusation against Boris Johnson

6 July 2022

8:25 PM

6 July 2022

8:25 PM

In the blizzard of letters by Tory MPs who want Boris Johnson to go, one stands out. Chris Skidmore has called for the rules of the 1922 Committee to be changed so that another vote of no confidence. His argument is particularly forceful, saying: ‘This is an extremely grave situation, that is tantamount to an effective cover-up of sexual abuse that would never be tolerated in any normal, functioning, workplace.’

All other letters have talked about a loss of trust, integrity and standards. They haven’t come close to making the point about the Chris Pincher scandal as forcefully as Skidmore does. It is the most serious accusation that has been levelled against the Prime Minister so far.


Yesterday there was a moment in Westminster when the air pressure changed, rather like it does just before an almighty thunderstorm. It was when loyal MPs started to conclude that the wheels had come off the Boris bus and that it wasn’t going to be possible to put them back on again. Their spirits sank and the feeling in the Tory party became depressed and exhausted.

A number of MPs in the ‘Supporters’ WhatsApp group left it that morning. Not all of them have gone public yet. Skidmore’s letter and his accusation will now be put to those who are biding their time – and the cabinet ministers who’ve chosen to stay. What can they say in response? It’s not as if they can trust a No. 10 line: Will Quince’s resignation made that clear.

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