New Forest East MP Julian Lewis calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to go
NEW Forest East MP Julian Lewis has called for Boris Johnson to be replaced as Prime Minister, accusing him of running a government of "habitual" wrongdoing.
Dr Lewis revealed to the A&T he joined the rebellion against his party leader in the confidence vote last night (Monday).
Mr Johnson won the ballot but with 148 (41%) of MPs voting against him.
Dr Lewis said: “The Prime Minister’s record since 2019 has been a mixture of achievements and misadventures.
"His difficulties derive largely from a belief that he and favoured friends can disregard rules, which others must follow. This weakens trust in the integrity of Parliament.
“He has an aversion to scrutiny bordering on contempt for the Commons. Impropriety at the top of government is impossible to defend, especially when it is habitual.
“Boris’s Brexit campaign secures his place in history and this should rightly comfort him.”
His opposition is at odds with votes for the PM by fellow local Tories, New Forest West's Sir Desmond Swayne and Christchurch Sir Chris Chope.
Dr Lewis, who has been an MP for New Forest East since 1997, was temporarily kicked out of the party in July 2021 after successfully running to be chair of the House of Commons' intelligence and security committee, in defiance of Mr Johnson's plan to install former cabinet minister Chris Grayling.
He served as an Independent MP for about six months before being readmitted to the Tory fold in December last year.
The confidence vote was initiated after enough Tory MPs wrote letters to the party's backbench 1922 committee requesting to put Mr Johnson's leadership to the test.
The current rules say he is now immune from a leadership challenge for a year.
Mr Johnson won with 211 votes in his favour and 148 against.