Borders MPs call for Boris to leave immediately

Borders MPs have today welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to step down as Conservative Party leader.

However, neither are keen on Mr Johnson’s wish to stay on at No10 Downing Street until the autumn.

The under-fire Prime Minister appeared at the door of his traditional residence at 12.30pm today, after filling some of the many ministerial posts left open by a raft of resignations over the last two days, including those of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Sajid Javid.

John Lamont MP.

Mr Johnson blamed a “herd instinct” at Westminster for the resignations, but did not apologise for his actions which precipitated the mass exodus, including the “Partygate” controversy, and his appointing MP Chris Pincher as Government Deputy Chief Whip, despite already knowing there were allegations of sexual assault against him.

Borders MP, John Lamont, who up to last month was a supporter of Mr Johnson, says he believes his boss should go at the earliest opportunity.

Mr Lamont resigned from his government role as the parliamentary aide to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to vote against Mr Johnson over a month ago, on June 6.

He told the Southern: “When I resigned over a month ago and voted against the Prime Minister, I was very clear that I believed he had lost the faith of the British people.

“It is welcome that many of my colleagues have now come to the same conclusion and the Prime Minister has resigned.

“He must now step down immediately and make way for a caretaker Prime Minister.

“I take no pleasure in the current situation. I want every Prime Minister to be a success, because ultimately that is what is best for our country.

“We must now move on quickly and elect a new leader.

"Borderers are rightfully concerned about the cost of living.

"I am committed to working with the new Prime Minister to resolve the most pressing issues as soon as possible.”

And Tweeddale MP David Mundell echoed the call for the Prime Minister to step down immediately.

He said: “The Prime Minister has taken the correct decision to resign his position and the most important thing now is to provide the country with the stability it needs as we deal with the many domestic and international challenges currently faced.

“Locally, I know people will want to see decisive action on the cost-of-living crisis to help families through these difficult times.

"That must be our focus over the months ahead and it will certainly be mine.

“While the process of choosing a new Prime Minister must be concluded as soon as possible, my own view is that Mr Johnson should not stay on in a caretaker capacity.

"There are other arrangements which can and should be followed.”

A staunch supporter of Mr Johnson throughout all his troubles was Scottish Secretary Alister Jack.

He said: “I am sad to see Boris Johnson stand down as Prime Minister. He has achieved a huge amount in office, including delivering Brexit, supporting the country through covid, and leading the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Most importantly, he has worked tirelessly to strengthen the Union.

"Boris is a good friend, as well as the leader of my party, and I wish him well for the future.

“I know that the next leader of the Conservative Party will build on Boris Johnson’s many achievements.

"I look forward to the party electing a leader who will unite us, and get on with the business of delivering for people throughout the United Kingdom.”

One local politician who isn’t quite as keen to praise Mr Johnson’s record, or indeed that of the two Borders Tory MPs, is Labour MSP Colin Smyth.

He said: “People across our region will breathe a sigh of relief that this charlatan will soon be out the door of No10, but the fact that in his resignation speech he still said he should have been allowed to continue says all you need to know about Boris Johnston.

"Boris Johnson should have quit months ago and local Tory MPs and MSPs who continued to back him when he was breaking the law time after time are complicit in inflicting his carnage on our country.

"We should never forget that time after time they all backed him, and more damagingly, his policies.

“Any party who allowed this cheat and liar to rule for so long is unfit to govern and that’s why we need not just a change of Prime Minister but a General Election so we can have a change of Government.”