Conservative MPs Boris Johnson, Nadine Dorries, and Nigel Adams have resigned over a period of under 24 hours.
Former culture secretary Dorries resigned on Friday, ahead of Johnson’s long-awaited resignation honours, for undisclosed reasons. She held an interview with TalkTV about why she resigned. “I can’t reveal everything. Something significant did happen to change my mind… and I think it’s for the best”, she stated.
Ex-PM Johnson resigned later the same day, after it was found that he mislead parliament over Partygate, with the enquiry recommending a lengthy suspension. As part of a 1,000-word statement in the wake of his resignation, Johnson said:
It is very sad to be leaving parliament – at least for now – but above all I am bewildered and appalled that I can be forced out, anti-democratically, by a committee chaired and managed, by Harriet Harman, with such egregious bias.
Finally, Adams resigned yesterday with a statement about the “honour” he felt in representing his constituency of Selby and Ainsty, North Yorkshire.
Each of these resignations will now trigger a by-election in the now vacant constituencies. Dorries held a majority of 24,664 in her constituency of Mid Bedfordshire, and Adams 20,137. However, Johnson’s majority in Uxbridge and South Ruislip was only 7,210. Shabana Mahmood, Labour’s national campaign coordinator, has claimed that Labour will mostly be focussing on Johnson’s former seat.
A former Downing Street staffer stated to Sky News that the three resignations could be “coordinated” to weaken current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with the Daily Express describing the by-election in Mid Bedfordshire as “make-or-break” for Sunak’s leadership.