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'The game has changed': First Tory MP to admit no-confidence in PM changes mind
23 April 2022, 14:21 | Updated: 23 April 2022, 14:25
Tory MP Sir Roger Gale explains to Andrew Pierce why he has changed his mind on challenging Boris Johnson's leadership now there is war in Ukraine.
Sir Roger Gale previously said in December last year that he sent his letter of no-confidence in Boris Johnson to the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady.
It comes as No. 10 says that Boris Johnson has not been fined over attending a 'bring your own booze' event in the Downing Street garden.
Andrew Pierce asked Mr Gale why he changed his mind on Boris Johnson's leadership after the war started in Ukraine.
"I've made myself wildly unpopular and I understand why. But when I put in the letter, which was 18 months ago, long before 'partygate', as it's become known, was a glean in a journalist's eye," Mr Gale said.
"The game has changed. We are now in the middle of the most serious crisis that the world's faced since 1945.
"I was concerned that we should not seek to destabilize the government of the United Kingdom, not just the Prime Minister... at a time when the coalition requires our support in the war against Putin's criminality."
Mr Gale continued: "Clearly, the game has changed again. I fear that we are now facing an unstoppable tide and it looks to me very much as though the time has come when we are indeed going to have to have a leadership election."
Explaining his opinion that now is not the time for a leadership contest, the Tory MP said: "The danger is that you then go into a three month leadership contest, during which time people like Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, the defence secretary, the justice secretary... all might have their hat in the ring at the very time when my view is that all of us - every last miserable backbencher like me - should be concentrating our effort on the matter in hand."