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North-east Tories turn on Boris Johnson as he clings to power

Pictured from left to right, Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Michael Gove, Levelling up Secretary, and Andrew Bowie, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine.
Pictured from left to right, Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Michael Gove, Levelling up Secretary, and Andrew Bowie, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine.

A north-east MP has called for a second vote of confidence in Boris Johnson’s leadership, admitting the “government is not functioning”.

Andrew Bowie has written to the 1922 committee to request another vote is held, adding the prime minister “has to go” if he loses.

The MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine said he was previously “willing to give him (Johnson) the benefit of the doubt”.

But added that it had become “quite clear in the last few weeks that is impossible”.

Mr Johnson is attempting to hold onto his premiership after more than a dozen resignations from his government in the last 24 hours. 

Pressure grows on Boris Johnson

It comes as reports suggested Cabinet minister Michael Gove had privately told the prime minister it was time for him to go.

The Daily Mail reported that the Levelling Up Secretary delivered the message at a meeting on Wednesday morning, citing sources.

The newspaper said a spokesman for Mr Gove did not dispute this.

Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, who has been criticised for his shifting stance, told Mr Johnson “time is up” and he has to resign.

Douglas Ross and Boris Johnson.

He told the BBC: “The prime minister needs to realise he’s lost the support of many colleagues and he has to stand down as prime minister.

“It’s not an easy thing for many of us to tell the prime minister, but time is up and he needs to step aside”.

Meanwhile, Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid said: “In light of recent events, I believe the prime minister’s position is now untenable.

“Having indicated my concerns internally earlier this week, it is my intention to stand down from my position as Fisheries Envoy and Trade Envoy for Angola and Zambia.”

‘Enough is enough’

In a blistering attack, Sajid Javid, who quit as health secretary on Tuesday evening, said he quit the government after concluding “enough is enough”. 

On not calling for Mr Johnson to resign earlier, Mr Bowie said: “I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

“I wanted him to turn the ship around. I really wanted to see change in Downing St.

“I wanted to see the prime minister try to deliver on what we got elected to do. It’s becoming quite clear in the last few weeks that’s impossible.

“The party is blessed that we have got many individuals who are talented enough, more than capable of taking on the role of prime minister.

“We will be blessed with a slate of candidates from which to choose.”

The Tory MP said Mr Johnson did not threaten the Union, and claimed the “two are completely separate”.

He added: “The Union has endured much worse than what’s going on right now.

“The Union is about much more than who the current incumbent of 10 Downing St is.

“The idea that Boris Johnson’s leadership, even if he does stay, which I doubt very much, means the union is less safe, secure or less likely to survive, is nonsense I’m afraid.

“It’s about much more than who the current incumbent is.”

DEREK HEALEY: Is the party finally over for Boris Johnson?

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