Search icon


21st Jan 2022

Rory Stewart says it is ‘disturbing’ people voted for Boris Johnson in blistering attack on PM

Ava Evans

The former Cabinet minister said Johnson is ‘manifestly unsuitable’ for the job of prime minister

Boris Johnson was “manifestly unsuitable to be prime minister from the beginning”, Rory Stewart has said, and ‘Patygate’ should be the “last nail in the coffin” of his leadership.

The former Conservative MP,  who was defeated by Johnson for the Conservative leadership in 2019, said it was “disturbing that a great country like Britain should have chosen somebody so unsuitable for the role”.

Stewart, the former international development secretary, told Sky News that while Johnson may be able to survive for another few months, he is “badly wounded” and has lost the credibility needed to be leader.

“We should all have expected this,” he said.

“He’s (Johnson) been a very famous public figure for 30 years. The British public has spent 30 years focusing on the fact that he lies, that he’s disorganised, that he betrays almost every personal commitment that he has.

“He was manifestly unsuited to be prime minister from the beginning, and it’s very, very disturbing that a great country like Britain should have chosen somebody so unsuitable for the role.”

Ahead of Sue Gray’s report into the Downing Street parties – due next week – Stewart said it was in a way “ironic that what seems to be bringing down the prime minister is the Downing Street party, rather than the record of bad government over the last year and a half”.

Johnson, who secured a triumphant landslide in the 2019 general election, has been facing mounting pressure to resign amid revelations surrounding a culture of booze and illegal lockdown partying in Number 10.

On Thursday, senior Tory MP William Wragg accused the government of attempting to “blackmail” members of parliament out of submitting letters of no-confidence in Johnson.

Wragg said MPs were being threatened with having funding for their constituencies withdrawn if they called on the PM to quit.

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has called for an investigation into claims of “blackmailing”, adding she was “shocked” by the “gravely serious” allegations of bullying by UK government whips.

On Wednesday, Johnson said he had no intention of resigning. Various government ministers have said they cannot comment further on his future ahead of Gray’s findings.

Related Links