Andrew Bridgen MP says Leadership contest could begin 'within 24 hours'

5 July 2022, 20:32 | Updated: 12 July 2022, 10:17

By Seán Hickey

Over 50% of the Conservative Party could call for Boris Johnson to resign before tomorrow evening, Andrew Bridgen MP declares.

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Boris Johnson's future as leader of the country has been thrown into uncertainty after two of his Cabinet Ministers resigned.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid stepped down after the Prime Minister admitted he was aware of groping allegations against his former deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher.

Read more: Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid resign with brutal call for Boris Johnson to quit

In a bumper edition of Tonight with Andrew Marr, Andrew was joined by Tory figures old and new to assess the bombshell. Andrew Bridgen MP joined the debate to outline how Conservative backbenchers are responding to the news.

The prominent Tory rebel has been at the forefront of efforts to have the rulebook of the 1922 Committee changed to abolish the 12 month rule for votes of confidence in the party leader.

He told Andrew that the resignations of two key Cabinet members could lead to the rules being changed far quicker than previously thought, potentially triggering a leadership contest.

Read more: Read Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid's resignation letters in full

Read more: 'It was the wrong thing to do': PM admits it was a 'mistake' to promote Pincher

"How quickly in theory do you think you could have a contest forced?" Andrew asked Mr Bridgen.

"Within 24 hours if we've got the letters" the Tory MP declared.

Read more: Civil servant urges colleagues to quit over PM's 'lies' in 'most remarkable' call

Read more: Eddie Mair lists Ministers with the power to oust Boris Johnson

He admitted to being "absolutely convinced" that Boris Johnson will be out of office once the rules get changed, revealing that he has spoken to "former Boris loyalists" who are now adamant that the PM has to go.

Mr Bridgen noted that "even if we had to set the vote at 50%, I think we'd get it," such is the anger within the Conservative party.

Quizzed on Boris Johnson's successor, Mr Bridgen said "the next leader of the Conservative party will have to show integrity, courage, leadership, and I've seen precious little of that from the current cabinet."