Insight

East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton demands Boris Johnson resign over Downing Street parties

Boris Johnson has been under pressure following revelations about gatherings at Downing Street during covid restrictions Credit: PA

As Boris Johnson's leadership comes into question over a series of Downing Street parties, ITV News Meridian's political correspondent takes the temperature among south east Tories.

Another Tory MP has joined the growing chorus of Conservatives calling for Boris Johnson to resign over the Downing Street lockdown parties.

Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, is demanding the Prime Minister step down.

Three of the six Tory MPs who have gone public with their withdrawal of support from his premiership are from the Meridian region.

Mr Loughton, whose constituency used to be a Tory stronghold, is the latest to take a stance following the PM's admission he had attended a gathering in Number 10's garden.

Mr Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons he had believed the emailed invitation to around 100 guests obtained in an ITV News exclusive was a 'work event'

His handling of the saga has prompted Tories to demand he resign, amid growing anger from constituents.

Labour have been making gains in Mr Loughton's constituency, making it one of their target seats at the next election.

Tim Loughton, MP, is the latest Tory to speak out against the Prime Minister. Credit: PA

Mr Loughton, a Brexiteer, is among MPs in the region who want the PM out.

The first to speak out, Sir Roger Gale from North Thanet, is one of the longest-serving MPs at Westminster, a long-time critic of the PM.

Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North, is also calling for the PM to step down.

One of his first acts as leader was to sack her as a junior minister.

Caroline Nokes Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

As Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee she has been an at times outspoken critic of government policy, and the PM's father, Stanley Johnson.

Tory MPs return to Westminster this week with the anger of constituents and party members ringing in their ears.

ITV News Meridian has been told some MPs believe it makes sense to wait until after the May local elections - and after the energy price rises in April - to raise a leadership rumble.

If there is a long drawn-out leadership election, they say, the best time for it is over the summer. 

But others don't want to wait so long as they fear there could be more revelations to come. 

How quickly things change, as three and a half months ago, Boris Johnson made a barnstorming party conference speech. It was, typically, full of jokes. His audience in Manchester loved it. 

They're not laughing now. The talk then was of at least 10 years of Johnsonism. The question now is - can he even survive another 10 days?