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12th Feb 2022

Three quarters of voters say Boris Johnson should quit if fined by police

Charlie Herbert

Just under half of those asked said that Boris Johnson should resign no matter the outcome of the police investigation

A new poll has found that 75 percent of voters believe Boris Johnson should resign if he is fined by the police over the Downing Street parties.

In polling conducted by the Independent and Savanta ComRes, 75 percent of voters said Johnson should go if he is found guilty of breaches in investigations by the Metropolitan Police and Sue Gray.

Just 16 percent of those asked said they wanted him to stay.

One anonymous Tory MP told the Independent that the public was not ready to “forgive and forget” the breaking of covid restrictions in Downing Street during the pandemic.

Meanwhile veteran MP Sir Roger Gale, who was the first Tory MP to submit a letter of no confidence in the PM, said: “For the prime minister of the United Kingdom to be fined for breaking the law – and we are not talking about a parking ticket or something like that – and try to stay on would generate a public outcry.

“His position, if it is not already untenable, will become completely untenable if he faces any kind of police sanction. If the parliamentary party then give him another 12 months in office by backing him in a confidence vote, I don’t think the voters will be best pleased.”

The poll of 2,232 voters found that just under half (49 percent) believe the Prime Minister should resign no matter what the police find in their investigation, with a further 26 percent saying he should go if he is found guilty of any breaches.

A majority of Tory voters though think he should remain if not found guilty of breaking any rules.

Just under a third (32 percent) of those who voted Conservative in 2019 said he should resign now. However, 30 percent want him to go only if proved to have broken the rules and 31 per cent to remain in office even if he is fined.

The Prime Minister could be hit with a fixed penalty notice of anything from £100 to £12,000 depending on how many rules, if any, he is found to have breached.

On Friday, it was confirmed that Johnson had been contacted by the Metropolitan Police over parties in Downing Street.

But there is concern amongst Tory MPs that the PM’s popularity among the electorate could plummet if he is perceived to have avoided punishment over the Downing Street parties.

If 54 Tory MPs submit letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson, then the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, must call a vote on Johnson’s leadership

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