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RED WALL Tory MP Christian Wakeford made a dramatic defection to Labour today and called on PM Boris Johnson to resign as the humiliating political fallout from “partygate” continued.
Mr Wakeford won the Bury South seat from Labour at the 2019 general election by just 402 votes.
He took his new seat across the floor to loud cheers on the opposition benches, just as Mr Johnson prepared to face Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer at today’s Prime Minister’s Questions.
In his resignation letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Wakeford said: “You and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves.”
Welcoming Mr Wakeford to the Labour benches, Sir Keir said: “The policies of the Conservative government are doing nothing to help the people of Bury South, and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.
“People across Britain face a cost-of-living crisis, but this incompetent Tory government is asleep at the wheel, distracted by a chaos of its own making.”
Mr Johnson responded that he was confident that the Tories would win back Bury South at the next general election “under my leadership.”
However, Momentum warned that Mr Wakeford had voted with the government “almost 400 times in just two years.”
The left campaign group said he had opposed measures to stop climate change and tax avoidance, and voted against measures to help domestic abuse victims receive benefits.
A spokesperson for Momentum said: “He should be nowhere near the Labour Party and the decision by Starmer to accept him is an insult to millions of working people who want to see a fairer country.”
Young Labour also gave the cold shoulder to the party’s new addition, tweeting that Mr Wakeford had “consistently voted against the interests of working-class people.”
And former government minister David Davis became the latest Tory MP to call for Mr Johnson to resign.
He told the Commons that he expected his leaders to bear responsibility “for the actions they take,” which Mr Johnson had failed to do.
Quoting from a speech in the Commons in 1940 from then cabinet minister Leo Amery to wartime prime minister Neville Chamberlain during a debate on the conduct of the second world war, Mr Davis told the Prime Minister: “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. In the name of God, go.”
In stormy exchanges during today’s PMQs, Sir Keir accused Mr Johnson of making “absurd and unbelievable” statements about what he knew of the boozy drinks party at No 10 on May 20 2020.
Mr Johnson was accused on Monday by his former senior aide Dominic Cummings of misleading the House in his statement on the Downing Street party.
Mr Cummings claims to have warned the Prime Minister in advance that the “bring your own booze” party would be a problem.
Mr Johnson denied the allegation to reporters on Monday, saying nobody had told him in advance “this was something that was against the rules.”
Speculation continued today on how many Tory MPs were preparing to send letters of no confidence in the PM to the back-bench 1922 committee.
As the Star went to print, 10 Tories are believed to have submitted their letters, but 54 are need to trigger a leadership contest.
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