Tory peer quits foreign office role after calling for PM to go on LBC

8 June 2022, 17:14 | Updated: 8 June 2022, 20:06

Baroness Helena Morrissey told LBC on Tuesday that Boris Johnson should resign, branding him a "liability"
Baroness Helena Morrissey told LBC on Tuesday that Boris Johnson should resign, branding him a "liability". Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Daisy Stephens

A Tory peer has been forced out from her position at the Foreign Office just hours after she told LBC she thinks Boris Johnson should resign.

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Baroness Helena Morrissey has been the lead non-executive director for the department for nearly two years, a paid role to provide "strategic leadership."

But on Wednesday it emerged she had left the role, after telling LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr that Boris Johnson should quit as Prime Minister.

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The Brexiteer and Foreign Office adviser spoke to Andrew about the booing of the Prime Minister during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations over the weekend.

"When [wavering MPs] saw the booing at St Paul’s they would see the PM is a liability rather than an asset," she said.

"In all honesty I would rather he didn’t [carry on as Prime Minister].

"I don’t see any contrition.

"I do think it will be damaging [for the party], I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it."

Tory peer Baroness Helena Morrissey speaks about PM

She added that Mr Johnson should "go with dignity", saying: "He's a very talented person, he’s just in the wrong job."

On Wednesday the Foreign Office confirmed she had left her role.

It was understood Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was outraged by the adviser's comments and instructed the FCDO's top civil servant Sir Philip Barton to sack her.

A source close to Ms Truss said: "She jumped moments before she would have been pushed."

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: "Helena Morrissey has left her role as Lead Non-Executive Director at the FCDO."

The official declined to comment on suggestions Sir Philip, who Ms Truss has backed despite MPs demanding his resignation over the Afghanistan crisis, was told to sack the adviser.

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A confidence vote in Mr Johnson was held on Monday evening after the threshold for letters to Sir Graham Brady was reached over the weekend.

The Prime Minister survived the vote, but 148 of his own MPs declared they had no faith in his ability to lead the party.

But despite 41 per cent of Tory MPs voting against Mr Johnson remaining as Prime Minister, he claimed the vote allows him to draw a line under the Partygate scandal and subsequent questions over his leadership.

SNP MP Ian Blackford challenges Boris Johnson after no-confidence vote

As he prepared for a Cabinet meeting in No 10 on Tuesday, Mr Johnson said: "This is a Government that delivers on what the people of this country care about most."

On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told LBC: "I think we draw a line in the sand after this vote, it was clearly and decisively won.

"We move forward to deliver for the people of the country and that is the way we do the right thing by our constituents."

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