Tory Mark Harper tells Boris Johnson he’s ‘unworthy’ of being PM in devastating attack


The former Chief Whip became the latest to call for Boris Johnson to quit – in a devastating statement to the Prime Minister’s face in the House of Commons

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Mark Harper lays blistering attack on PM Boris Johnson

A Tory MP today became the latest to demand Boris Johnson quit with a devastating attack to the PM’s face in Parliament.

Mark Harper broke cover as he branded the Prime Minister “unworthy” of the office he holds – and suggested he lied to the public.

The former short-lived leadership candidate also said No10 was mired in a “toxic culture” and sent a letter to the backbench 1922 Committee voicing no confidence in the PM.

It came after the Tory leader apologized “unreservedly” for his Covid law-breaking after he received a £50 fine – but claimed he didn’t understand he’d broken his own rules.

Former Chief Whip Mr Harper said: “I regret to say that we have a Prime Minister who broke the laws that he told the country they had to follow.

“[He] hasn’t been straightforward about it and is now going to ask the decent men and women on these benches to defend what I think is indefensible.

“I’m very sorry to have to say this, but I no longer think he is worthy of the great office that he holds.”






Mark Harper broke cover as he branded the Prime Minister “unworthy” of the office he holds

He later published a letter of no confidence in the Tory leader sent to the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tories.

It said: “I am writing to you, with regret, to say that I no longer have confidence in Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party.”

Mr Johnson was facing MPs for the first time since he received a £50 fixed penalty notice for breaking his own Covid laws in June 2020 – making him the first ever law-breaking Prime Minister.

He attended a surprise birthday party in the Cabinet room for nine minutes and was photographed holding a can of Estrella beer.

The Prime Minister gave an “unreserved” apology – before immediately denying he had deliberately misled MPs when he said “all guidance was followed completely” in No10.

He told Parliament: “Let me also say not by way of mitigation or excuse – but purely because it explains my previous words in this House – that it did not occur to me then or subsequently that a gathering in the Cabinet room just before a vital meeting on Covid strategy could amount to a breach of the rules.”

MPs also groaned as the PM claimed being fined for a criminal offense would make him a more fervent enemy of warmonger Vladimir Putin.






Boris Johnson claimed being fined for a criminal offense would make him a more fervent enemy of warmonger Vladimir Putin

One MP shouted “criminal” after Keir Starmer said “he knows he’s dishonest and incapable of changing” – but was told not to use the word dishonest by the Commons Speaker.

Tonight the Prime Minister will address a rare meeting of the full Conservative parliamentary party in a bid to ‘clear the air’.

While only just over a dozen MPs are calling on him to resign, that number could arise if his response to the fine goes down badly. It takes 54 letters of no confidence to the backbench 1922 Committee to prompt a vote of no-confidence in the leader.

In a brutal letter to the 1922 Committee, Mr Harper said “integrity is about doing the right thing even when no one is looking”.

The MP added: “To date, over 50 purposes have been issued by the Metropolitan Police for criminal offenses committed in the heart of Government.

“The culture of an organization is set by and the responsibility of, the person who leads that organization.







Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street for today’s statement
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

“The clearest example of the toxic culture in 10 Downing Street that the PM fostered was the partying by senior political appointees hours before HM The Queen laid to rest her beloved husbands of 73 years during a period of national mourning.”

He said the ministerial code states that ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament should resign.

He added: “Given we now know that the PM broke the law and there was systemic law breaking in 10 Downing Street, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the PM has misled Parliament.”

Mr Harper went on that the PM “is no longer able to deliver the principled leadership required to take out country forward.”

Tory MP David Simmonds – who represents a seat next door to the PM’s – did not call for him to quit but asked how he would “restore the moral authority of this government”.

But other Tory MPs spoke out in Mr Johnson’s favor – with Steve Baker saying he had suddenly come and should be forgiven, while Sir Edward Leigh said the only leader who should be removed was Vladimir Putin.

And Tory MP David Morris faced shouts of opposition as he gave a gushing tribute to his “trust” in the party leader, adding: “This Prime Minister is leading the world against Putin”.

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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