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‘Boris should go today’: Calls for PM to leave immediately

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Boris Johnson waves on the steps of 10 Downing Street shortly after commencing his post

Boris Johnson waves on the steps of 10 Downing Street shortly after commencing his post

PA

Boris Johnson waves on the steps of 10 Downing Street shortly after commencing his post

There have been calls for Boris Johnson to "go now” after it was announced the prime minister would stand down as Conservative Party leader.

It comes after he lost the support of his ministers and MPs, triggered by revelations about his handling of sexual misconduct allegations against former Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher.

A Conservative leadership contest will take place this summer and a new prime minister will be in place before the party conference in October. In the meantime, Mr Johnson will continue as prime minister.

But Northern Ireland MP Stephen Farry said Mr Johnson should “go now”.

He said: “It is not credible or tenable for Boris Johnson to cling on as an 'acting Prime Minister' until the autumn.

“His character and judgement are manifestly flawed. He needs to go fully, today.”

MP Simon Hoare also said “go means go”.

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On social media, he said: “Ministers resigned because of the PM. The Party lost confidence because of the PM.

"It is beyond credulity that Mr Johnson can stay in office even pro tem. New constitutional territory but he has to go and go means go.”

Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill had strong words for Mr Johnson: “It has been an utter absurdity that the people here have been subjected to Boris Johnson for any length of time. He is a figure of absolute disrepute. Anyone who tries to sabotage our peace agreements, a quarter century of progress and our shared future is truly no friend of ours,” she said on social media.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said Boris Johnson should leave government immediately.

The Foyle MP said: "Boris Johnson has debased the office he holds, he has fundamentally and indelibly damaged public confidence in politics and public life, and his death grip on power has prolonged a period of government that will be characterised by law-breaking, scandal and sleaze.

"He should now leave government immediately.

"While the failings of this Government have been aggravated by the tone, temperament and character of Boris Johnson, it runs far deeper.

"Those who have fled the sinking ship are incapable of putting the problems right, not least of all the approach to legacy and the protocol in Northern Ireland.

"This is a moment to bring an end to 12 years of Tory government.

"The current Tory administration has proven itself uniquely incapable of distinguishing between the public interest and their own narrow political interest, and their time in government is up."

Former MP Lord Michael Heseltine, speaking to Times Radio, said: “He’s not played it in the way that you would expect, a normal prime minister [who had] lost confidence of his colleagues, the only sensible thing to do with dignity is to understand that and go.

"This is a watershed in British politics.”

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said: “He is right to go. His position had become completely untenable."

Speaking to the BBC: "We can retrieve the situation, we can go forward, select a new leader and tackle crucially important issues like tackling the Northern Ireland protocol and the cost of living,” she said.

"It is important we move rapidly to get a new prime minister in place. We need to get on with this to get a new prime minister in place.”

On the future of the Northern Ireland protocol bill, she said: "I would hope that all new candidates would support that bill. With all new leadership candidates, that will be the first question I ask them.”

Science minister George Freeman, who resigned on Thursday morning said Boris Johnson should speed up his departure.

“We need Ministers back at their desks,” he said.

“Now PM has finally done the decent thing he needs to hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty, allow her to appoint a Caretaker under whom Ministers can serve, so the Conservative Party can choose a new leader properly.”



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