Nadine Dorries claims 97% of Tories are behind Boris Johnson - as another MP calls for PM to resign

15 Tory MPs have now publicly called for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign

The Prime Minister tells the truth “to the best of his knowledge” and 97% of Conservative MPs are behind him, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has said.

A number of MPs have now called for the Prime Minister to resign, but Ms Dorries insisted the majority of the party are behind him.

At a glance: 5 key points

  • Out of the 15 Tory MPs who have so far publicly called on Boris Johnson to go, just seven of those had publicly backed remaining in the EU in the 2016 referendum
  • One of those who has said the Prime Minister should go is David Davis, who served as Brexit Secretary, and another is Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen
  • The Prime Minister also lost five No 10 aides in 24 hours on Thursday (3 February and Friday (4 February)
  • Nadine Dorries insisted 97% of Conservative MPs were behind the Prime Minister
  • Ms Dorries also said Mr Johnson told the truth “to the best of his knowledge”

What’s been said

Ms Dorries insisted 97% of Conservative MPs were behind the Prime Minister, including, she said, the Health Secretary, following comments over the Prime Minister’s allegation that Sir Keir Starmer failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile.

She said: “I spoke to Sajid Javid last night and he reassured me that he is 100% behind the Prime Minister.

“In fact, I think he’s quite shocked at how his comments have been interpreted.”

Mr Javid said Sir Keir deserved “absolute respect” for the job he did as director of public prosecutions and that it was important that the Prime Minister “clarified” his earlier accusation that Sir Keir had failed to prosecute Savile.

She also said Mr Johnson told the truth “to the best of his knowledge” based on what he was told by his aides.

Challenged about a claim made by Mr Johnson in the Commons about the number of people in work before and after the pandemic, Ms Dorries told BBC Breakfast: “He will have been given by advisers and researchers the fact that there were more people in work than there were at the beginning of the pandemic, not on the payroll.”

She said: “So did he tell the truth when he quoted that? Yes, he told the truth as it was given to him.”

“I can personally tell you that the Prime Minister, when he stands at the despatch box and makes quotes like the one you just quoted, is because the researchers and his advisers will have given him that quote, and that’s… and he was truthful, to the best of his knowledge, when he made that quote,” she said.

She added: “The Prime Minister does tell the truth.”

Background

The number of Tory MPs who have now publicly called for Mr Johnson to resign to 15, but privately, the number is expected to be higher.

The following MPs have publicly said the Prime Minister should resign:

  • Nick Gibb
  • Aaron Bell
  • Sir Roger Gale
  • Douglas Ross
  • Andrew Bridgen
  • Peter Aldous
  • Tobias Ellwood
  • Anthony Mangnall
  • Sir Gary Streeter
  • William Wragg
  • Caroline Nokes
  • Tim Loughton
  • David Davis
  • Andrew Mitchell
  • Sir Charles Walker