Aylesbury MP responds to Boris Johnson's resignation as Prime Minister

The MP for Aylesbury has given his thoughts on Boris Johnson’s resignation as prime minister today (7 July).

By James Lowson
Thursday, 7th July 2022, 4:51 pm

Aylesbury MP Rob Butler was one of 54 MPs to resign from their positions in government in just 48 hours.

In a statement released this afternoon Mr Butler once again highlighted a failure in ‘personal leadership’ when criticising the former prime minister.

The ex-BBC presenter was referencing his party leader’s decision to hire Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip.

Previous head of the Foreign Office, Simon McDonald, stated the then prime minister knew of allegations suggesting Mr Pincher was a sexual predator before his appointment.

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As well as Aylesbury’s government representative, chancellor Rishi Sunak, and cabinet members Sajid Javid and Robin Walker left their posts.

In his latest statement Mr Butler said: "The Prime Minister has made the right decision today. He has achieved a huge amount for our country - securing Brexit to respect the referendum result, steering us through Covid and out of lockdown, and leading the international response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Rob Butler with Boris Johnson on his last visit to Aylesbury

"But questions over his personal leadership, in particular, details of the circumstances that emerged in recent days about the appointment, behaviour and departure of the previous deputy chief whip are profoundly disturbing, and sadly showed me that the necessary lessons had not, after all, been learnt in Downing Street.

"That is why I resigned early this morning as parliamentary private secretary to the foreign secretary and colleagues across the parliamentary Conservative Party made it clear to the prime minister that it was time for him to step down.

"I am confident that we can now move on under a new leader and deliver our commitments to the British people.

"I will continue to focus on the issues that matter most to local people in the months ahead, especially the cost of living and post-Covid recovery, and ensuring Aylesbury becomes an even better place to live, work, visit and invest."

Rob Butler speaking in Westminster Hall yesterday, photo from Parliament TV

Mr Butler had been among the 211 MPs who voted in favour of keeping Mr Johnson in power when he faced a vote of no confidence.

People up and down the country were angry with the leadership under the 58-year-old for breaking his own lockdown rules.

Both media scoops and the Sue Gray report revealed illegal parties were held at Downing Street under his watch at a time of national lockdown.

He was also fined for attending a party at a time when they were not permitted, making the former London Mayor the first prime minister prosecuted of a crime when in office.

At the time Aylesbury’s MP thought achievement’s under Johnson’s reign outweighed his own ‘anger’ at Partygate.

He highlighted Johnson’s delivery of Brexit, tough sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine and the government response to the cost of living crisis, among other policies he supports.