A major Tory donor who has given the party more than £3m has said that Boris Johnson’s premiership had “passed the point of no return”.
John Armitage told the BBC that he finds the lack of honour in modern politics “incredibly distressing”.
He added that the challenges facing the West meant that the country needed "serious, engaged" politicians.
Here we take a look at what Mr Armitage said and who the Tory donor is.
What did Tory donor John Armitage say?
He told the BBC: “I feel that if you lose moral authority, and if you do things, which, you know, the average person, your mother, someone you try to explain, someone who you admire, if you do something or say something which on the front page of the Sunday Times looks terrible, and you do that consistently, and you betray a sense of not really caring, I think you should leave.
“And I find the lack of honour inherent in modern politics incredibly distressing.”
Mr Armitage was then asked whether the Prime Minister was "past the point of no return", he replied: "Well, personally yes."
He was also asked about the mini-reshuffle Mr Johnson has carried out with his team at Number 10.
Mr Armitage said: “I don’t know people in Downing Street. I’m not close to the situation, but I think it’s about more than… but, if, like, I’m failing and I’ve done a few things wrong, ‘oh gosh, I’m going to change my advisers’.
“God above. What about a sense of personal responsibility? ‘Oh I’m going to change my chief of staff and it will all be fine.’ Oh really?”
Who is John Armitage and what is his net worth?
Mr Armitage, who attended the University of Cambridge, is the co-founder of hedge fund firm Egerton Capital.
His wealth is estimated to be around £600 million, according to The Sunday Times Rich List in 2019.
He has given the Conservatives £3.1m including more than £500,000 since Mr Johnson became the Prime Minister, according to the BBC.
However, he has also donated to the Labour party, giving them £12,500 last year. He also previously gave individual donations to former Labour MP Frank Field.
The BBC reports that he also contributed to the Remain campaign during the Brexit referendum campaign in 2016.
He also took Irish citizenship in 2018.
What happened in Boris Johnson’s mini-reshuffle?
The criticism of Mr Johnson’s premiership by a major Tory donor will come as a blow to the Prime Minister who tinkered with his top team on Tuesday (8 February) in a bid to stave off a confidence vote.
He decided to carry out a mini-reshuffle after being dogged by partygate allegations and a fresh controversy over his Jimmy Savile remarks.
Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris is expected to join the PM on the frontbench for Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (9 February) after becoming the new Chief Whip.
In turn, Mark Spencer will now move to Leader of the Commons after a series of missteps in managing the Conservative parliamentary party.
Mr Spencer’s predecessor Jacob Rees-Mogg was shuffled into the new role of Minister for Brexit Opportunities.
Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher will become the Deputy Chief Whip – a position he previously held under Theresa May.
Mr Heaton-Harris, asked by BBC Newsnight whether Mr Johnson’s changes had “saved his premiership”, said: “I would like to think we have a very strong Prime Minister who is going to continue and get stronger and stronger and lead us into the next election, which we will win comfortably”.
The Prime Minister has decided to make small changes to his team now before a full ministerial overhaul in the summer, according to The Times.
He is said to be preparing his team for a general election.
The next national poll is due to take place in 2024, but there have been suggestions that Mr Johnson could push for it to be held a year early.
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