Red Wall MP Aaron Bell has become the 13th Conservative parliamentarian publicly to call for Boris Johnson to stand down, as he submitted a letter of no confidence in the prime minister.
Mr Bell said that the prime minister’s position was “untenable” because of his handling of the Partygate scandal and the “breach of trust” represented by the series of lockdown-breaching events at 10 Downing Street.
The Newcastle-under-Lyme MP was among the wave of Tories to seize traditionally Labour seats in the Midlands and North of England in Mr Johnson’s landslide victory in 2019.
He holds his seat with a relatively comfortable majority of 7,446, but the Staffordshire town had not previously been won by a Tory since 1859 and is certain to be a target for Labour at the next election.
A Brexiteer and supporter of Mr Johnson at the time of the election, Mr Bell said he was “profoundly disappointed” by developments of recent months.
He voiced his frustration in the Commons debate on Partygate on Monday, recounting how he had observed social distancing regulations at his grandmother’s funeral and asking: “Does the Prime Minister think I’m a fool?”