'I backed Boris in no confidence vote' says Buckingham MP
MP for Buckingham Greg Smith was one of 211 Conservative MPs who backed Boris Johnson in the confidence vote triggered by anger over Partygate, while 148 Tory MPs voted that they had no confidence in the Prime Minister.
Greg Smith told the Bucks Herald: “The Sue Gray Report was uncomfortable reading.
"The revelations about some of the antics in Downing Street, particularly the findings of unacceptable behaviour towards custodians and cleaners, are outrageous.
“I preface all my comments with a repeat of what I have said all along - I will not defend the breaches of Covid regulations that clearly took place. They were wrong.
“The question - having read the Gray report and taking into account the single fixed penalty notice the Prime Minister received - is whether this reaches the bar to depose a sitting Prime Minister.
“My conclusion, which I accept many will have a different view on, is no.
“The Prime Minister has repeatedly apologised in the House of Commons, and likewise to me personally when I met with him.
“Nothing can take me back in time to be able to see my grandparents before they died in early 2021 or enable them to have the funerals they deserved.
“I understand the anger of people who, like me, were unable to see their loved ones in terrible circumstances.
“But I am choosing to accept his apology and practise the age-old British value of forgiveness.
“Others may not, and I understand that.
“The vote of no confidence held last night gave a clear result that the Prime Minister continues to have the support of the Conservative Parliamentary Party.
“I chose to vote for the Prime Minister. I understand that will please those who wrote to me asking me to ‘Back Boris’, and displease those who asked me not to.“Either way, there is no getting around that 148 votes against him was not insubstantial – and there is a huge imperative to now rebuild trust.
“The only way of doing that is to deliver on our 2019 General Election manifesto, whilst equally rising to the challenges the hangover from the pandemic, global pressures, and war in Ukraine brings to the cost-of-living challenges we all feel.