Boris Johnson losing Tory support as storm grows over Downing Street garden party

John Caudwell, the Phones4U founder and a Tory donor, issued an ultimatum, saying: “Sort it out, Boris, or step aside and let someone else sort it out so that the Tories aren’t wiped out at the next election.”

Baroness Davidson of Lundin Links expressed her anger, posting on Twitter: “Nobody needs an official to tell them if they were at a boozy shindig in their own garden. People are (rightly) furious. They sacrificed so much – visiting sick or grieving relatives, funerals. What were any of these people thinking?”

Johnny Mercer, a former minister under Mr Johnson, admitted the scandal was “humiliating”.

Responding to a constituent, Mr Mercer tweeted: “I’m sorry. It’s humiliating, and does not reflect the majority of my colleagues who *at least try* and lead by example. Thank you for your sacrifice … I will always represent you above all else.”

Mark Harper, chair of the Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs, said he awaits the Prime Minister’s explanation in the Commons today “with interest”.

Sir Charles Walker, the vice chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, said there was a lot of anger over what had happened and said the Prime Minister urgently needed to rebuild public trust.

“I think the Prime Minister needs to spend the next six months restoring trust in No 10 and making some good and strong decisions. I think that is the challenge for him,” he told Channel 4 News.

Councillor Antony Mullen, the leader of Sunderland Conservatives, told BBC Radio 4: “I think Martin Reynolds should have been sacked and I think Boris Johnson will inevitably have to follow him.

“I can’t see how he can continue – it seems pretty obvious to me that Sue Gray’s report will now likely find that he misled the House of Commons. I think this is such an atrocity, I can’t see how he can survive.”

Other senior Tories heaped pressure on Mr Johnson to confirm at Prime Minister’s Questions whether he knew about the party, whether he attended and whether he authorised it.

One former Cabinet minister told The Telegraph he would find himself in a bind however he answered the third question.

“If the answer is yes, he’s guilty as hell [of breaking the rules]. If the answer is no, it confirms there is anarchy in Downing Street that a private secretary could act in this way without approval,” the former minister said. “He’s hanging by a thread – but he is quite good at hanging by a thread.”

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen told The Telegraph: “If the PM has misled Parliament, it’s an extremely serious matter and that, coupled with other investigations that have arisen, places the PM in an untenable situation.”

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