Dear Mr Opperman
I tried to find your name in the list of resignations from ministerial posts or from the list of conservative MPs who want Mr Johnson to resign, published in the Guardian today. As your constituent I am appalled and embarrassed by the actions of our Prime Minister. I share many of the feelings of some of the leading ministers in our government.
Perhaps you are away? Although you are also very quiet on your twitter account regarding the troubles in Downing Street. I hope you are well.
In case you were unable to read these I quote from several of your colleagues.
Rishi Sunak, as you know has resigned, he said: “The public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously.”
Sajid David said:
“The vote of confidence last month showed that a large number of our colleagues agree. It was a moment for humility, grip and new direction. … I regret to say, however, that it is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership – and you have therefore lost my confidence too.”
Will Quince, the children’s minister resigned. He said he had “no choice” after he appeared on television to defend Johnson using Downing Street briefings that were not true. His letter said: “Dear prime minister. Thank you for meeting with me yesterday evening and for your sincere apology regarding the briefings I received from No 10 ahead of Monday’s media round, which we now know to be inaccurate.”
Alex Chalk, the solicitor general for England and Wales reigned. He said: the “cumulative effect of the Owen Paterson debacle, Partygate and now the handling of the former deputy chief whip’s resignation, is that public confidence in the ability of No 10 to uphold the standards of candour expected of a British government has irretrievable broken down”.
Laura Trott, MP for Sevenoaks resigned as a parliamentary aide to the transport secretary, Grant Shapps. said: “Trust in politics is – and must always be – of the utmost importance, but sadly in recent months this has been lost.”
Bim Afolami, the vice chair of the Conservatives said he had lost confidence in the prime minister and would be stepping down from his role: “I think what’s been very sad over the recent allegations about the former deputy chief whip and other things that have happened over the last few weeks is that I just don’t think the PM has any longer, not just my support, but I don’t think the support of party, or indeed the country, any more …
Jonathan Gullis, a staunch supporter in the Commons, stepped down as a parliamentary private secretary to the Northern Ireland secretary. He said the Conservatives had been too focused on reputational damage over governing. “It is for this reason I can no longer serve as part of your government”.
Andrew Murrison said the “last straw in the rolling chaos of the past six months” was “the unjustifiable implication of Lord McDonald’s letter to the parliamentary committee for standards this morning.
The words of Theo Clark particularly resonated with me. She said:
“As one of the party’s new female MPs and a member of the women and equalities select committee, I take allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously. To learn that you chose to elevate a colleague to a position of pastoral care for MPs, whilst in full knowledge of his own wrongdoing, shows a severe lack of judgment and care for your parliamentary party. I was shocked to see colleagues defending the government with assurances that have turned out to be false.”
Robin Walker, the schools minister resigned saying the government had been “overshadowed by mistakes and questions about integrity”.
Felicity Buchan, the MP for Kensington has resigned from her role as parliamentary private secretary to the business secretary.
John Glen, the MP for Salisbury has resigned as a Treasury minister. He said Johnson’s “poor judgment” made it “impossible for me to square continued service with my conscience”.
Victoria Atkins, the MP for Louth and Horncastle resigned as a justice minister, saying: “I can no longer pirouette around our fractured values.”
Jo Churchill, the MP for Bury St Edmunds resigned as an environment minister. She wrote:
“Recent events have shown integrity, competence, and judgment are all essential to the role of prime minister, while a jocular self-serving approach is bound to have its limitations.”
Stuart Andrew, the MP for Pudsey resigned as a junior housing minister, saying “our party, particularly our members and more importantly our great country, deserve better”.
Claire Coutinho, the MP for East Surrey has resigned as a parliamentary private secretary to the Treasury, saying:
“I firmly believe that what we need now, as we deal with the twin challenges of war in Europe and global inflation, is a laser-like grip on reforming our public services so that they work better for our constituents and focus on charting a path to prosperity through what is an increasingly challenging global outlook. I think the events of recent weeks and months are preventing us from doing that.”
Selaine Saxby, the MP for North Devon has resigned as a parliamentary private secretary to George Eustice, the environment secretary.
Mims Davies, employment minister, has resigned saying the Conservative party needs a “fresh start”.
In a tweet, the Mid Sussex MP said: “I have tendered my resignation from the government from a role I have cherished for the last three years. She said “ Conservatives needs a fresh start & I can see no other way forward than this.”
Kemi Badenoch, Neil O’Brien, Alex Burghart, Lee Rowley and Julia Lopez resigned signing a joint resignation letter saying “it has become increasingly clear that the government cannot function given the issues that have come to light”.
Craig Williams, the MP for Montgomeryshire, said he is resigning as parliamentary private secretary to the chancellor of the exchequer. He said:
“After the recent vote of confidence, I had given my support to you, with one last benefit of the doubt. I believed it was right that we draw a line under previous events and focus on rebuilding trust with the public and focusing on delivering good policies. It has now become apparent over recent days, that this is becoming impossible. It is therefore with deep regret that I resign from your government.”
Duncan Baker MP has resigned as a parliamentary private secretary in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Mark Logan MP resigned as a parliamentary aide in the Northern Ireland Office, saying the party needed to accept the reality staring it in the face. He said there was only so much that his constituents and the public “to accept or ignore”.
Fay Jones, the parliamentary private secretary to the leader of the House of Commons said she would step down if the prime minister is not gone by Thursday.
Rachel Maclean. MP resigned as a minister for safeguarding in the Home Office. She said she could not make progress with her job while Johnson remains in office. Maclean said he [Johnson] should resign for the good of the country and party.
Mike Freer resigned as minister for exports and equalities saying: “I can no longer defend policies I fundamentally disagree with.” He also accused the government of “creating an atmosphere of hostility for LGBT+ people”.
Mark Fletcher, the parliamentary aide in the business department has resigned, saying he cannot be an “apologist” for someone who has allegedly committed sexual assault.
Sarah Britcliffe said she was resigning as a parliamentary aide in the Department for Education “
Peter Gibson has resigned as a parliamentary aide in the Department for Trade and cited the damaged caused by the government’s failure to ban conversion therapy for trans people as one of the reasons.
James Sunderland MP resigned as a parliamentary aide in the environment department.
Ruth Edwards said she was “heartbroken” to learn that the prime minister had appointed Chris Pincher to deputy chief whip despite knowing about serious allegations of sexual misconduct.
As your constituent I look forward to seeing your resignation letter.
Dr Carol Westall
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