Kettering MP: 'Why I supported Boris Johnson in last night's confidence vote'

Philip Hollobone was one of 211 Tories to back the Prime Minister

By Sam Wildman
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 10:02 am

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone says he supported Boris Johnson in last night’s vote of confidence because it would be ‘extremely harmful’ to the country to launch a leadership contest.

The Conservative MP was one of 211 Tories to back the Prime Minister, who is now immune from a leadership challenge for a year under current rules.

But Mr Johnson has been described as a ‘dead man walking’ by commentators after a huge revolt from backbenchers with 148 Conservatives – 41 per cent of those who took part in the secret ballot – voting to oust him.

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Philip Hollobone MP

All three North Northamptonshire MPs voted to keep him in the top job with Wellingborough MP Peter Bone and Corby’s Tom Pursglove, who is a Government minister, confirming on social media that they would back Mr Johnson before the ballot took place.

This morning (Tuesday) Mr Hollobone, who is not on social media, told the Northants Telegraph: “I voted for the Prime Minister last night.

“With the PM remaining in post we can now all put the distractions of the past months behind us, unite, and focus on getting on with the job of serving our constituents and the country. People are anxious about and struggling with a cost of living crisis caused by global inflation and soaring energy prices. After Russia’s appalling invasion of Ukraine there is an ongoing war in Europe and our economy is recovering after Covid.

"I took the view that it would be extremely harmful to the country to launch a distracting, divisive and destructive leadership contest, which would last for months. Instead, we can choose to focus on growing the economy, cutting taxes, making our streets safer, and busting the NHS backlogs. The PM has led this country through its biggest peacetime crisis in a generation.

"His leadership delivered the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe and delivered unprecedented economic support which has kept tens of thousands of local people in their jobs. We did not choose to lose half of this five-year Parliament to Covid, but we can choose what to focus on now.

“Under Boris Johnson we got Brexit done, smashing through the deadlock which crippled British politics, we unlocked from Covid more rapidly and restored our freedoms more quickly than any other major economy, we are standing up to Putin, arming Ukraine with huge military support and humanitarian help, and we are delivering cost of living help direct into people’s pockets so that the most vulnerable households will receive at least £1,200 of financial assistance this year.”

One Northamptonshire MP who did vote to oust Mr Johnson was Northampton South representative Andrew Lewer.

Our sister paper the Northampton Chronicle & Echo reported that he told his constituents the Prime Minister had to go because “public trust and integrity must be restored”.

He said: “The issues of being straight with Parliament and of adhering to the Ministerial Code have also had a significant bearing.

“It is not just about ‘a party’ or ‘work related events.’

"Everyone makes mistakes and often they should be allowed to move on.

"But an ingrained pattern of behaviour and a culture that has developed around it is a different matter."