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Questions in Nottingham over who will replace Boris Johnson after PM resigns

today7 July 2022 9

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Boris Johnson quit as Tory leader after admitting he failed to persuade Cabinet colleagues that he could fight on, prompting questions about who could replace him.

While Boris had previously enjoyed support through his Red Wall, there appeared to be a wall of silence from Conservative MPs in the East Midlands in the immediate aftermath of his announcement as they came to terms with his exit strategy. Many had signalled that they could no longer back him just before his resignation.

Broxtowe’s Darren Henry was the first to make his feelings known. Mr Henry had previously told Nottinghamshire Live that he still backed the PM even when staunch supporters such as Ashfield’s Lee Anderson, Gedling’s Tom Randall and Mansfield’s Ben Bradley had withdrawn their support.

Read more: Man’s body found after serious house fire in Nottinghamshire

“Over the last 48 hours countless colleagues and friends have resigned from a range of Government positions,” said Mr Henry.

“The Prime Minister has offered his resignation and a leadership contest will now ensue. I will look at the candidates with interest and support the one who I feel will be best for our country and for Broxtowe.

“I became an MP to serve my community and that will always be my first priority.”

The Prime Minister had delivered his statement from a lectern in Downing Street.

“I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world, but them’s the breaks,” he said.

Mr Johnson intends to remain in No 10 until his successor is elected, but he faces resistance to that plan from within his own party and the Opposition. He has already appointed new Cabinet ministers to replace MPs who quit as part of the mass ministerial exodus in protest at his leadership.

In a statement which was watched by staff, supportive MPs and his wife Carrie Johnson carrying their child Romy, the Prime Minister said: “It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister.

“And I’ve agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now and the timetable will be announced next week. And I’ve today appointed a Cabinet to serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place.”



Former IT worker Paul McGuire, 84, from Burton Joyce said he think the PM should leave now.

But in a sign of the resentment he feels about being forced from office, less than three years after a landslide election win, Mr Johnson said: “In the last few days, I tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate and when we’re actually only a handful of points behind in the polls, even in mid-term after quite a few months of pretty relentless sledging and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally.

“I regret not to have been successful in those arguments and of course it’s painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself. But as we’ve seen, at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves.”

The timetable for the leadership contest is expected to result in a successor being in place for the party’s conference in October – with Mr Johnson intending to stay in No 10 until the process is complete.

Voters on the streets of Nottingham were split as to what they thought would happen next.

Nurse Louise Jones, 30, West Bridgford. said: “No one in that party is fit to be Prime Minister but Labour is also slacking, Kier Starmer doesn’t have a backbone and he needs to use all of this to his advantage and call for an election now.

“Lie after lie after lie and Boris Johnson lasted so long, it’s funny what being head of the leading party of the UK can do, it seems that it gives you a card to get away with everything.”

Student James Maverick said: “After all the other resignations, this was to be expected. He needed to be gone for a long time. The 22-year-old added: “I’d love for Angela Raynor to take over from Keir Starmer and be the Labour leader and then maybe, Labour would have a chance.”

Former IT worker Paul McGuire, 84, from Burton Joyce said he think the PM should leave now. “They need to get rid of him, how we ever got him in the first place, I don’t know,” he said. “I can’t think of anyone to replace him in this lot. We’re better off with no one. He’s a buffoon. He didn’t have the character or intellect for the job.”

Part-time bar worker Caitlin Townsend, 24, said everything that had gone on made her think of a previous Labour leader.

“Jeremy Corbyn must be laughing right now,” said Caitlin, from Mapperley. “No one listened to him and now it’s all falling to pieces. We have no government, we need an election.”

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