Insight

Sue Gray report prompts soul-searching for Welsh Conservatives - can Boris Johnson hang on?

310122 BORIS JOHNSON PA WALES
Many Welsh Conservatives have suggested they would wait to see the contents of Sue Gray's report before deciding whether or not to support Boris Johnson as leader. Credit: PA

It may be a report that’s not a report, but the document put together by Sue Gray still makes for difficult reading for Conservatives

She has called it an update, because she’s been limited in what she can publish by the controversial decision by the Metropolitan police to investigate some of the Downing Street gatherings. 

But even within those limits, it’s going to cause a lot of soul-searching for Welsh Conservatives who have repeatedly said that they’ve been waiting to see what she says before making their decisions about whether or not they support Boris Johnson remaining as leader.


What do people in Wales think of Sue Gray's report? Residents of Llandudno share their views:

A number have said to me privately that if her report shows that the Prime Minister has broken the law, then he must go. 

This ‘update’ doesn’t state that because of the police investigation but it does speak of “a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time.”

That might be enough to tip some of those who were already doubtful into taking the much bigger step of calling for Boris Johnson to go.



But with MPs waiting to hear what he has to say to them at a hastily-convened meeting in Number 10 tonight, it seems that the waiting for those of us who report on the views of Conservative MPs  must go on a little longer. 

Some of them have spoken in recent weeks. Here’s a reminder of what they’ve said.

Boris Johnson during a visit to RAF Valley on Anglesey on Thursday. Credit: PA

'No moral authority'

Most recently Rhondda MP, Chris Bryant has been highly critical of Boris Johnson. The senior Labour politician says he's concerned the scandal engulfing the PM is detracting focus from issues affecting his constituents.

Mr Bryant said, "People in the Rhondda are going to be £2,547 worse off I worked out because of the various changes, the tax hikes, the increased cost of living, inflation for food and for energy and fuel.

"And the government has no answer for that because he has no moral authority."

'The Government has let itself down'

Brecon and Radnorshire MP Fay Jones previously stated on her website that “the Government has let itself down” and added that, “Without delay, the Prime Minister needs to reimpose a much stricter standard of professionalism amongst his staff and focus his energy on tackling growing challenges like the rising cost of living.”

Stephen Crabb, the former Welsh Secretary, wrote to consituents that the Prime Minister “was right to apologise” but that “this may not be a sufficient response given the seriousness of these matters.”

Aberconwy MP, Robin Millar, dismissed rumours that he had already written a letter calling for Boris Johnson to go, saying that was “complete tosh” but he too has acknowledged serious concerns from his constituents. 

'Just go now'

It’s no surprise that other parties have reached a view already. Plaid Cymru’s parliamentary leader Liz Saville-Roberts has today said that: “The deafening silence from Welsh Tory MPs and the Tory leader in the Senedd proves they’d rather be on the side of wrongdoers. The people of Wales won’t accept anything less than for all political representatives to stand up in the name of integrity and accountability.

“Boris Johnson simply can’t use the Metropolitan Police investigation as an excuse to delay his resignation further. Just go now.”